With five apparent locks to make the Wild on defense (Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Marco Scandella, Jonas Brodin and Keith Ballard), Matt Dumba knew he had to impress this preseason in order to be playing in the NHL come the start of the regular season.
So far, so good. The 20-year-old who was drafted seventh overall in 2012 has registered an assist in each of his last three games, including last night’s 4-1 victory over the Penguins.
“I feel like I’m doing a lot of good things right now,” Dumba said, per the StarTribune. “My skating, just everything, is all coming together and feels really good. … If I can keep doing that, I think if all goes as planned, hopefully I stay here.”
Dumba has competition in two other blue-line hopefuls, Stu Bickel and Christian Folin. And Wild coach Mike Yeo doesn’t want any youngster “sitting in the press box,” so Dumba will have to be a regular player in order to stay.
That said, a d-man with Dumba’s offensive abilities — even a young one that’s prone to making, as Yeo put it, “a couple plays that I wasn’t thrilled with” — may be too tempting to pass up for a team that struggled to score in 2013-14.
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