Get to know Matt Dumba

Red Deer defenseman provides top-end skill, energy and physicality, making him one of the top prospects available in the NHL Draft

Wednesday, 06.13.2012 / 12:00 AM ET / Islanders 2012 Draft Central
By Travis Betts
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Get to know Matt Dumba
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Off the ice, Matt Dumba is a quiet, humble but confident 17-year-old. On the ice, Dumba is a fierce ball of energy capable of putting up big offensive numbers or turning a game around with a huge hit. Dumba ranked second among Western Hockey League defensemen with 20 goals (nine on the power play), and sixth with 57 points in 2011-12. The Calgary, AB native captained Team Canada at two Under-18 tournaments in the past year, and was the youngest player invited to Canada’s 2012 World Junior Championship camp.

Dumba sat down with recently to talk about his play and expectations for the draft. How would you describe your overall game to someone who has never seen you play?

Matt Dumba: I think I’d describe myself as a two-way defenseman, a guy who can play both sides of the puck, and is very versatile on the ice. What allows me to do that is my skating ability. I play in all situations on the ice: power play, penalty kill, 5-on-5, 4-on-4. I’m a guy who wants to jump up in the rush and create offense, but at the same time I can play a good defensive game too.

NYI: You seem very soft-spoken, but when I watch your highlight reels, I see a guy playing with a ton of energy. Where does that come from?

MD: I guess it’s just my passion and love that I have for the game, and going out there and always challenging myself to be at my best. It’s going to the rink and going to the gym every day, and looking to improve. I guess the quietness off the ice – I’m always putting on a smile and I just want to be one of those guys who goes about doing their work quietly, and just working hard and being a guy that can really show his game through his skills and passion and hard work on the ice.

Five things to know about Matt Dumba

1. Dumba led Western Hockey League defensemen with 20 goals, also adding 37 assists in 69 games with the Red Deer Rebels during the 2011-12 season.

He captained Team Canada at the 2011 Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, winning a gold medal, and at the 2012 Under-18 World Championships, where he led the tournament with 12 points in seven games.

At the Scouting Combine Dumba finished among the top-10 in three events, including sixth place in the standing long jump and eighth in push-ups.

Dumba writes a blog for which followed his last season with the Red Deer Rebels and his experience at the Scouting Combine in Toronto. Read Dumba’s blog.

His birthday is July 25, the same day as former NHL forward Tony Granato and Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

NYI: On paper, you added a lot of offense to your game this past season. Talk about your increased role on the Rebels.

MD: As a 16-year-old, I was kind of one-dimensional in the sense that I was just looked upon to create a spark for the team, and was used in scenarios where it was more about creating offense and that spark for our team. This year I’ve taken on a way bigger responsibility. A lot of guys moved out, and I took on a bigger role with the leadership there, and just playing in every scenario on the ice. I got a chance to do that this year partly because we had so many injuries. Our team was just kind of plagued with injuries all year, and that allowed me to put up big numbers and play in every scenario.

NYI: This draft class is very strong at the defense position, especially with guys from the WHL. What are your expectations going into the draft?

MD: My expectation is to be drafted by a team that wants me and a team that has a place for me and sees a bright future for me. I guess that would be my highest hope going into the draft, and whatever team drafts me, I’d be thrilled and privileged to have that opportunity with that team. There’s the human nature of wanting to be picked as high as you can. I’m a competitive guy. I want to go high. I think I’ve proved that I can be one of those guys. I’m just looking forward to it all right now – it’s going to be a great experience.

NYI: What things are you doing now to constantly improve and get to the next level?

MD: It starts with my eating habits. I’m just eating a ton right now; eating all good stuff for me. I’m going to school, and then I go train, and go back to school and jump on the ice. So I have pretty busy days right now. I come home and enjoy a rest after that. I’m trying to enjoy the time I have right now, and enjoying being around my family and friends.





1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
10 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48


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R. Strome 75 15 32 19 47
K. Okposo 54 15 31 -10 46
F. Nielsen 75 13 28 9 41
B. Nelson 76 18 22 9 40
A. Lee 70 23 16 12 39
J. Bailey 64 15 23 4 38
J. Boychuk 66 8 25 9 33
T. Hamonic 66 5 25 16 30
N. Leddy 72 10 19 15 29
J. Halak 35 16 2 .915 2.39
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