Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Wild Birthday Milestone For Dumba

Courtesy:  Minnesota Star Tribune
Time to dust off the keyboard and do a bit of blogging for the first time in what seems like way too much time off.

As Mathew Dumba today celebrates his 18th birthday, I figured it would be a good idea to catch up with the star Red Deer Rebels defenceman. 

From playing at the World U-18's (becoming the first blueliner to lead the tournament in scoring), to being selected 7th overall by Minnesota at the NHL Entry Draft, to skating at the Wild's summer development camp and signing his entry level contract... "off-season" hasn't been a part of Dumba's vocabulary.
I interrupted Dumba's brief vacation in BC with family and friends (thankfully, he likes me otherwise that would not have gone over well) to get his thoughts on the last couple of months as well as the next few weeks upcoming...

TG:  What are your overall thoughts on what has taken place over the last month (draft, camp, contract)?
MD:  It's hard to explain.  Everything has happened so fast.  You kinda try to sit back and enjoy each significant thing that comes up but at the same time you want to keep moving forward.  There's been so much good stuff that's gone on in my last month that I'm so fortunate and thankful for.  It's great for me and my family and I couldn't have asked for anything more.

TG:  How did you enjoy your time at Wild Prospects Camp last week?
MD:  I had a great time.  Everyone was so welcoming and great to me so it was easy to fit in.  The guys were great, they made you feel a part of it.  Then once I signed the deal [contract] it was just one step closer to my goal and I'm really excited for that opportunity they have given me.

TG:  How nice was it to see a familiar face in [former Rebels goalie] Darcy Kuemper at last week's camp?MD:  It was nice.  It really helped me get used get used to everything that was going on around us.  Every day we had something to do.  It was jam packed with going on the ice then working out.  Power skating and stick handling.  Nutrition seminars.  Everything you can think of we did in that week.  Got to do some fun stuff too... Twins game, Mall of America,  and paintballing.  It was just a fun time.

TG:  At the draft, it was a cool moment when your former Rebels teammate, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, shook your hand on the way to the stage...
MD:  Yeah, it was kind of neat to have him come and do that.  I guess a lot of people noticed that.  It was just a nice gesture on his part.

TG:  As a new member of the Wild organization, how thrilled were you to see them sign Zach Parise and Ryan Suter as free agents?
MD:  It's just amazing.  Everyone is so excited to see it happen, the commitment the organization has to being great in the next couple of years and really building a future.  Having character guys like that is awesome and will do wonders for the team.

TG:  It must be particularly exciting for you, as a two-way defenceman, to now have the opportunity to learn first-hand from an elite player like Ryan Suter?
MD:  Yeah, for sure.  Just to soak it all in and absorb as much as I can from him will be great for me.  He's a great defenceman and has proven himself to be elite.  From the last couple of years watching him [on TV] to having a chance to play with him and get to know him is a once in a lifetime chance and I'm very grateful to be in this situation. 

TG:  So I take it you'll be going into Wild training camp with the goal of making their team for the 2012-13 season?
MD:  That's my mentality.  I have to go in there and be a competitor and do anything to get on that team.  And I'm prepared to do that.  That's been my goal and dream since I was a little boy [to play in the NHL].

TG:  That being said, how would you feel should you be back with the Rebels for another season?
MD:  It comes down to management and what the coaches decide what's best for me.  I'll respect that decision and work hard wherever I am.  Either way, I have two great options but first and foremost I want to be in the NHL.

TG:  So out of all three of your major milestones this month [draft, contract, birthday] which are you most excited about?
MD:  They've all happened so quick but I'd say getting drafted is first and foremost.  Having all my friends and family there for it was an amazing experience.  The other one's just tie into that, they've all been great.


Dumba will soon be meeting up with Team Canada for the Canada-Russia Challenge Series.  Games 1 and 1 take place in Yaroslavl, Russia on August 9th and 10th.  Games 3 and 4 will be played in Halifax on the 13th and 14th.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So glad for him, but hoping he will be back for another season to help with some of the younger defenceman.