The Minnesota Wild have re-signed defenseman Matt Dumba to a two-year, $5.1 million extension. The contract will carry an average annual value of $2.55 million.
Dumba is a solid young defenseman on a deep defense corps in Minnesota. He set career highs across the board last season. Dumba managed 10 goals and 26 points in 81 regular-season games. He also tallied six goals and 12 points on the man-advantage.
Though many criticize Dumba for being a defensive liability, he has cleaned his game up and generates scoring chances when he is on the ice.
Dumba, 22, was drafted by Minnesota with the seventh overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He has since played in parts of three seasons, scoring 19 goals and 44 points in 152 career regular-season games. He also has six points in 16 career playoff games.
This is a very strong move for the Wild. Dumba’s name has been thrown around in rumors all summer. While he could still be traded now that he has a very cap-friendly and reasonable contract, it seems as though Minnesota will forge ahead with Dumba on the back end.
Though both sides were in agreement on signing a short-term bridge deal to give Dumba more time to develop and showcase his skills, Dumba is still very much looking forward to advancing his career as a member of the Minnesota Wild.
“A lot of guys are signing longer-term deals, and it’s nice to have that security, but at the same time, it worked out for me to sign this bridge deal,” Dumba said. “I just want to grow as a player. Getting that opportunity to do so and prove myself over the next couple of years I think is huge. I think I’ll be right at my peak at the end of that and hopefully then I can sign something long term.”
The team now has eight defensemen signed for this upcoming season, including Dumba, Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Jonas Brodin, Marco Scandella, Christian Folin and Nate Prosser. Since the Minnesota organization only has a little over $2 million in cap space, it’s likely the team is done making external moves for the rest of the summer.
At the end of the day, this is an incredibly reasonable deal for an up-and-coming defenseman with plenty of upside. It also buys more time for the Wild to clear up enough cap space to sign Dumba to the long-term deal he most likely will deserve in two years.
Dumba should earn a spot in the lineup after training camp and should continue to be an effective offensive defenseman in this league.
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