2009-10: Matt Dumba skated for the Edge School in Calgary and made his WHL debut with the Red Deer Rebels. Dumba played 16 games for the Edge School (including playoffs) and scored 5 goals with 7 assists. Taken in the 1st round (4th overall) of the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, he played six games for Red Deer during the regular season and skated in two playoff contests.
2010-11: Dumba played 62 WHL games for Red Deer as a 16-year-old in his first full season and represented Canada Pacific in the 2011 U17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored 15 goals with 11 assists and was plus-24 with 83 penalty minutes as the Rebels finished first in the Central Division. In nine playoff games, Dumba scored 2 goals and was an even plus/minus. In six games at the WHC he had 12 assists and 2 penalty minutes.
2011-12: Dumba appeared in 69 game for Red Deer in his second WHL season and captained Canada’s team at the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship. Dumba was the sixth-leading scorer amongst WHL defensemen with 20 goals and 37 assists and was -6 with 67 penalty minutes in 69 games. The Rebels missed the WHL playoffs, allowing Dumba to compete at the WJC. In seven games for third-place Canada he scored 5 goals with 7 assists and was plus-2 with 20 penalty minutes. Dumba was ranked 11th among North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft.
2012-13: Dumba signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Wild in July 2012 before returning to Red Deer for his third junior season. He made his pro hockey debut as an 18-year-old, joining Wild AHL affiliate Houston in April after Red Deer was eliminated from the WHL playoffs. Dumba had no points and 2 penalty minutes with an even plus-minus and played in all five playoff games for the Aeros. The Aeros were fourth in the South Division and lost to Grand Rapids in the first round of the playoffs. Dumba had no points and was -1 in the series. Dumba was Red Deer’s third-leading scorer in the regular season with 16 goals and 26 assists in 62 games and was +10 with 80 penalty minutes. The Rebels reached the second round in the playoffs after finishing third in the Central Division. Dumba scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was -4 with 14 penalty minutes in nine playoff games.
2013-14: Dumba made the Wild out of training camp as a 19-year-old — skating in 13 games before joining the Canada U20 team for the World Junior Championship at the end of November. He was returned to the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks following the WJC. Dumba scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was -5 with 2 penalty minutes, averaging 12:26 minutes of ice time with Minnesota. He was dominant at the junior level — scoring 8 goals with 16 assists and finishing +31 with 37 penalty minutes in 26 regular season games. Portland advanced to the WHL Finals against eventual Memorial Cup champion Edmonton. Dumba scored 8 goals with 10 assists and was +18 with 33 penalty minutes in 21 playoff games. In seven games at the WJC he had 1 assist and was +4 with 12 penalty minutes as Canada finished fourth.
Dumba has the potential to be an electrifying player in the NHL, but he still needs to round his game into form before taking that next step. He is an energetic player who can score the big hit or the big goal, with his offensive game being more advanced than his defensive play. Dumba has good speed and uses it to rush the puck up the ice, and once in the offensive zone, he has a quick release and a good shot. His defensive game could use some work, but that may not be his ticket to the NHL, anyway.
Dumba made the Wild out of training camp and is skating for Minnesota as a 20-year-old in 2014-15. Seeing limited, but steady ice time in a lower pairing role in his first full NHL season, he has yet to display the high octane offensive game for which he was known in junior hockey but has steadily worked to become a responsible NHL defenseman. As he gains more experience and becomes comfortable at the NHL level those elements will likely begin to emerge.