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Making a good impression

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

MONTREAL – Four years after being drafted by the Canadiens, Gabriel Dumont has shown that he can certainly make his mark at the professional level.

Since beginning his time with the organization, all of the observers agreed that the Habs got their hands on a player who, in addition to possessing the ability to continually disturb the opposition, could also take care of things offensively. The 51 goals he scored in his last season of junior hockey with the Drummondville Voltigeurs is proof positive of that.

Progressing gradually in the professional ranks, Dumont has had to continue to learn the finer points of the game under three different coaches in as many seasons in the American Hockey League. Now a young veteran for the Bulldogs, the Degelis, QC native has solidified his place as one of the key elements at the heart of Sylvain Lefebvre’s squad, earning time in the NHL at the end of the season.

Train like a pro: Gabriel Dumont

“It’s definitely been a season that I’ll remember for a long time,” affirmed Dumont, who spent almost two months with the big club in 2012-13, playing 10 games along the way. “I spent a bunch of days in a hotel, but I really appreciated my time here and I got a ton of experience out of it.”

While he spent a good part of the season in Montreal, Dumont managed to distinguish himself in the AHL, finishing atop the Bulldogs with 31 points despite playing in just 55 games. For that reason, Dumont earned an invitation to the Canadiens’ training camp back in January. He may not have managed to secure a full-time spot with the club at that point in time, but his strong showing during that abbreviated audition made quite a favorable impression on management.

When he was recalled by the Canadiens, the 22-year-old centerman did not appear to be intimidated by far more experienced and physically imposing players. Game after game, he managed to draw the attention of his opponents by disturbing them constantly, and found ways to get on the scoresheet, amassing one goal and three points. Dumont now hopes that he has done enough to return to the Habs next season, on a more permanent basis.

“My contract has expired, and I’m hoping to sign a new deal with the Canadiens and play in Montreal full time,” expressed Dumont, who will become a restricted free agent this summer. “It’s a decision that management will have to take. I did my very best. I felt that I earned my spot with the big club, but in the end, they will be the ones to decide.”

Since Canadiens brass has affirmed on more than one occasion that the future of the team would be built on the development of young players, Dumont’s chances of succeeding in that venture are quite good.

Hugo Fontaine is a writer for Translated by Matt Cudzinowski.

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