This draft report is on Red Deer Rebels defenseman Matt Dumba. He's a physical two way defenseman with very significant offensive upside. Dumba doesn't turn 18 until a few weeks after the draft so there could be even more development available for him than his contemporaries. He has been compared to Dion Phaneuf some, but given his height he sounds suspiciously like a better defensively Stephane Robidas of the previous few years.
Defense / Red Deer Rebels / WHL
July 07 1994
Hometown: Calgary - Canada
|2010-11 Red Deer Rebels||61||15||11||26||-||83||--||9||2||0||2||-||20|
|2011-12 Red Deer Rebels
|2011-12 - Canada U18
Final CSS North American Rank: 11th
Craig Button: 2nd
Hockey Prospectus: 6th
NHL.com consensus: 8th
What do they say about them?
Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus: (Yes, this is long. But it's worth every second you spend reading it.)
Dumba is an electrifying and energetic talent who is the second-best pure talent on the back-end in this draft behind Morgan Rielly, but Dumba comes without the worry of a torn knee. Dumba is a well above-average skater who may touch elite level. His agility and overall first few steps are certainly plus plus which makes him a joy to watch with how effortlessly he flies around the ice. He's so hard to check in open ice and his skating makes him a prototypical weapon to bring the puck up out of his zone due to how easily he avoids pressure with his direction-changing ability or the speed he hits in full flight. Dumba also looks impressive with the puck and can make things happen with his puck handling. He's quite coordinated skating with speed and can make some nice moves. He does try to do too much which is one of his main issues, but one shouldn't mistake that for selfishness, as he will distribute the puck quite well and isn't a puck hog but just will try to overdo it at times when he does have the puck. His hockey sense is up and down, as while at times he does display good vision, there will be other instances where he has tunnel vision but more the former than the latter. Dumba is an aware defensive player, though, and is more than capable of shutting down good players. While he can defend with his mobility and reads, he also is a player who regularly throws big hits, embraces the physical aspect of the game, and is effective doing so despite being under six feet tall. His physicality can go too far sometimes, though, when it comes to going for the big hit. He's also quite strong for a player his age. Dumba can shoot the puck with great effectiveness with a hard slapper from the point and can be looked to as a trigger man on the point.
Dumba is already being called the next Dion Phaneuf, and most scouts believe that he's a pretty complete package on defense. Rebels VP of Hockey Operations Randy Peterson says that Dumba can run a powerplay well, and is a big-time player with a great shot.Offensively Matt is just as good, if not better than he is defensively. He has a hard and accurate shot that he gets through to the net consistently. Matt’s puck control is top notch, he’s able to beat players one on one and drives the net like a power forward. One of the biggest things about Matt’s game is that he makes very few mistakes, and the few mistakes he does make, he’s able to recover from by using his good hockey sense. The Calgary native was the WHL Rookie of the Year for the 2010-2011 season, and certainly has the potential to be a top notch force in the NHL some day.
"Plays a very intense style, but does a great job of mixing a perfect blend of intensity and smarts into his game… Defensively very strong on skates and likes to physically intimidate in the corners and punish guys around the crease – looks to catch forwards with their head down. Lightning fast crossovers and pivots make him hard to beat 1-on-1 – great gap control. Plays an electric game and smarts may be undervalued due to his style."
Matt Dumba sounds like a perfect fit for what the Stars are seeking in a top pairing defenseman. Unfortunately every team in the league could use a player in Dumba's mold also. He is a guy that could be available when the Stars pick if teams ahead of them fall in love with forwards, but most likely he will be off of the board. He is either the #2 or #3 defenseman in this draft, and people within the industry are talking about him as if he has top pairing potential.