If there’s any deliberation about Mathew Dumba’s possible return to the Western Hockey League after the 2014 Under-20 World Junior Championships, a recent trade in the “W” may resolve the issue.
The WHL’s Red Deer Rebels have announced a trade with the Portland Winterhawks. In return for the Canadian major junior rights to current Minnesota Wild defenseman Mathew Dumba and a conditional pick in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft, the Rebels receive 18-year old forward Presten Kopeck and conditional picks in the Bantam Draft.
While Dumba has yet to play a game in the WHL this season, this could be a very big step for his career. After being the final cut for Team Canada each of the past two WJHC tournaments, Dumba will almost certainly be manning the blue line on Canada’s top defensive pairing. If he is sent back to Juniors, a half season playing top minutes with the No. 2 ranked Winterhawks and a deep playoff run would go a long way towards his development.
Dumba has been one of the best defensemen in the WHL the past few seasons. With 13 games, an assist and a power play goal under his belt as an NHL rookie, there’s no question he’d take all the valuable tools and experience he’s gained and play at the highest level he’s ever played in Canadian major junior hockey. A solid WJHC tournament, a league championship and one more offseason of working out, bulking up and fine tuning his game may be all he needs to make the jump to the best league in the world a successful one.
The 6’0″ 183-pound defenseman was the 7th overall pick of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. In 199 career WHL games, the dynamic blue liner has collected 51 goals and 76 assists for 127 points and a plus-27 rating.
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