Brian Dumoulin Is Ready For The Big Stage


Although Brian Dumoulin still remains on the Pittsburgh Penguins roster, it most likely will not be for long. If Kris Letang proves himself to be healthy again, Dumoulin will get sent down to the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins to resume playing in the AHL. By no means is this a bad thing it simply means that the Penguins do not have room on the roster for Dumoulin right now. Despite having an outstanding training camp, Dumoulin as well as Scott Harrington both had to be sent back to the minors. This was not because of any glaring flaw in their play but simply a lack of roster space and not enough playing time to go around. 

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This is the second season in a row that Brian Dumoulin has been called up to the NHL to cover for injuries/suspensions. During this most recent stint he played in three games, posted zero points and was a -3 skater. Many people have criticized his play since he came up to the Penguins. As my colleague Scott Engstrom pointed out in his most recent article, Brian Dumoulin has been an offensive leader at the AHL with ten points (2 G – 8 A) in twenty two games played. His overall take on Dumoulin is that he did not consistently play well in his three games with the Penguins and needs more time to develop with Wilkes-Barre.

Dec 21, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin (8) moves the puck against pressure from Calgary Flames right wing David Jones (54) during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In his brief stint with the Penguins it is incredibly easy to try and judge the readiness of a young player, but truthfully you cannot. It is far too small of a sample and everyone (including myself) underestimates the difficulty of moving from the AHL to the NHL. Not only is your competition much more fierce but you join an entirely different team where you are not comfortable with any of the players.

That is what we saw from Brian Dumoulin in those three games. A defender who turned the puck over frequently, was not effective offensively and (at times) slow on his feet. Sounds an awful lot like Kris Letang last season when he returned from various injuries, except the difference is that when Letang came back he was coming back to a team he knew very well. Dumoulin did not have that luxury.

Frankly, I do not believe Dumoulin will be given a chance to earn a starting role until next season, but that does not mean he is not ready for one.

Prediction For The 2015-2016 Season

Brian Dumoulin will come into the Pittsburgh Penguins training camp with a fire inside him. He will out perform all of the young defenders in the Penguins system and most of the veterans. After training camp Dumoulin will get a starting position in the Penguins lineup. Yet despite his impressive training camp, Dumoulin will have a rocky first half of the season and we will see a lot of the same mistakes made next year.

Does any of this sound familiar? Well it should because this is exactly the story-line our beloved Olli Maatta followed.

Overall Conclusion

Brian Dumoulin is ready for a starting spot with the Pittsburgh Penguins but will not be given one this season. Despite what you might read that he is not ready, consider the factors I have mentioned above and realize Dumoulin is ready. He is one of the most promising defenders the Penguins have under their control and will be starting sooner rather than later. Be warned that in his first season there will be growing pains and at times you might question why he is at the NHL level. Keep faith in him, just remember what Olli Maatta developed into.