With the uncertainty of NHL Expansion Draft and the Marco Scandella trade now firmly in the rear-view mirror, the Minnesota Wild can move ahead with their young defensive corps and begin to play for the 2017-18 NHL season. A big part of that group, 22 year-old Matt Dumba, looked poised to break out in a big way next season, but what’s a realistic expectation for the young blue liner?
Hailed as an offensive talent since being selected 7th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, it has taken Dumbo a few years to deliver on the hype, but his 11 goals and 34 points in 76 games last season look to be just the start. It’s reasonable to expect that, with an increased role on the team in 2017-18, Dumba could produce even loftier totals moving forward.
For a reminder of what he’s capable of, check out his highlight package from last season:
What’s clear from this these clips is that Dumba can beat you in a lot of different ways. He’s smart, quick and physical player with excellent offensive instincts. If he can find some consistency in his game then there’s no telling how good this kid can be. What do you think Wild fans? Can he push for 45 points next season? It’s almost a certainty that he’ll hit double-digits in goals again, but can he possibly reach 20 on the season? Lofty expectations, but when you see a skill set like Dumba’s you have to aim for the moon.