-- NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards was taking plenty of notes in the upper deck of ENMAX Centre as the Red Deer Rebels and Lethbridge Hurricanes did battle in a regular season game here on Friday.
Edwards sat alone in the corner of the building -- away from the crowd.
His primary focus was Red Deer defenseman Mathew Dumba, who is rated No. 3 among on Central Scouting's preliminary list of Western Hockey League skaters. Not until the third period did Dumba really take his game to another gear.
Dumba dished out three assists in the third period of a 4-3 shootout loss and performed extraordinarily well following two average periods. Edwards came away very impressed with the 5-foot-11, 171-pound Calgary native in the games he witnessed this week, including Wednesday's contest when Dumba played for Team WHL against Team Russia in the Subway Super Series.
"Dumba was average through two periods against Lethbridge but really came on strong in the third when Red Deer came back, even though he did a lot of traveling in the last week," Edwards said. "He made good outlet passes and those passes were hitting the tape."
Dumba missed at an opportunity to win the game for the Rebels in the shootout, but his attempt was turned aside by Lethbridge goalie Damien Ketlo.
"He made one heck of a play at the point to deny a player late in the second period," Edwards said. "The thing I'm picking up [Friday] is the fact he'll take a hit to make a play. He's not just bailing when another player is bearing down on him and that means a lot in my eyes."
Edwards was also charting the progress of Lethbridge left wing Juraj Bezuch, who is also on the 2012 draft radar for some scouts.
"He worked hard and has been involved in the play," Edwards admitted. "He's a high-energy type guy. He's not big enough (5-10, 165) to really knock anybody around, but he was noticeable at time."
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