For the second year in a row, Minnesota Wild prospect Mathew Dumba was the final cut at Team Canada’s selection camp leaving the defenceman numb with disappointment.
The seventh overall draft pick in this past year’s NHL Entry Draft, Dumba was vying for a spot on the National Junior squad for the second year in a row and with an injury to star d-man Ryan Murray, Dumba’s chances had increased.
Dumba did speak with the media after albeit in brief, short sentences, choosing his words carefully. TSN.ca caught up with the Red Deer Rebels 18-year old and with a sorrow look on his face, Dumba offered little insight into his thoughts.
“Yeah, very disappointing.”
The silver lining to this cloud, if there is one, is that Dumba is only 18 as mentioned above. Meaning he will have one more kick at the can and providing he’s been on the bubble for two year’s straight, his chances of finally cracking the lineup and dawning the maple leaf for next year’s tournament look promising. Consider that next year’s tournament will be held in Canada and Dumba has extra incentive to have his game in tip-top shape come December.
Hockey Future’s states Dumba as an electrifying player who has advanced his offensive skill more than his defensive. This could have played a major role in the decision to let Dumba go given team Canada chose Ryan Murphy, another slick skating d-man who loves to rush the puck and set up scoring plays. Having two players of the same style could be detrimental to the club’s defensive focus and having too many liabilities or uncertainties when they’re on the ice.
When we focused on Dumba’s chances to make the club, I had him pegged as the potential seventh defenceman, something that I’m sure he would have jumped at if given the chance. I wasn’t far off, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, not in hockey.
The future for Dumba looks bright and for Wild fans they have much to be excited about with this kid. We’ll have to wait one more year before watching him on the national stage. But good things come to those who wait.