The Pittsburgh Penguins have a plethora of young talented defensive prospects — most notably first-round picks Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta — but Brian Dumoulin might be the most overlooked.
Dumoulin, 21, was one of the three pieces acquired in the Jordan Staal trade, and isn’t just some transaction throw-in.
Completing his first season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pens, Dumoulin not only led all baby Pens defenseman in games played, but he topped all blueliners in scoring as well with 24 points (6G, 18A).
Taking in his first Calder Cup Playoffs, the Maine native registered eight points (2G, 6A) and finished tied for fourth amongst Pens skaters in scoring — five away from leading the team.
Originally drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the second-round (51st overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Dumoulin spent three years at Boston College playing for the Eagles, where he helped lead them to a National Championship in his final season.
Performing in 123 games for BC, Dumoulin potted 83 points (11G, 72A) and skated to a phenomenal plus-100 rating — which is almost unheard of in this day and age for a defenseman.
Receiving numerous accolades for his college play, in 2011 he was named Hockey East’s Best Defensive Defenseman and honored with the Bob Monahan award for top defenseman in New England, while he also made the All-America East first-team.
That’s just to name a few — he finished as a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award (best college hockey player) that year as well.
Standing at a towering 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 210-pounds, Dumoulin is exactly what the Pens need to be grooming in their system.
And even though his numbers may suggest he’s close to merging into the NHL, Dumoulin recognizes there’s still room to improve.
Here’s what he told Pens Director of Content Sam Kasan on what he needed to get better on:
“My consistency,” he said. “The length of the season was a lot different. I’d have one or two good games and relax, in college you’re done for the week. I realized quickly that you can’t do that. I got better at bringing the same effort game-in and game-out.”
Dumoulin will most likely spend next season at WBS again, but don’t be surprised if he makes a strong pitch to join the Pens once training camp commences.
It’ll probably be a long shot on him making the NHL roster because of their depth at the defensive position, so we should expect him to be down in the AHL for the 2013-14 campaign.
But the outlook on this big blueliner looks promising.