It’s been a long two years for Matt Dumba
For the rookie Wild defenseman, it’s been a tough go-round when the Canadian National Junior Team has chosen its team to participate in the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. That’s because for the past two years, he’s been the final player cut when Team Canada has selected its final roster.
“It’s been tough on me the last two times,” Dumba recently told the PONDcast. “Being the last cut last year, it hurt. It sucked not being able to represent my country last year, so I’m looking forward to the opportunity that they’re giving me this year.”
Today, Dumba will start the healing process for his national-team disappointment, as the Minnesota Wild assigns the defenseman to the Canadian National Junior Team in order to participate in the 2014 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Malmo, Sweden Dec. 26, 2013 to Jan. 5, 2014.
The 6-foot, 183-pound blueliner is one of 25 players invited to Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship. Camp begins Dec. 12 at the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence in Etobicoke, Ont. Canada’s final roster for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmö, Sweden, will include 22 players, and must be finalized by Dec. 25.
“It’s going to be a good experience for me to play at my age group,” Dumba said. “I hope I can go in there and just be the best I can be, show my skills and show that I deserve to be there; I wanted to be there last year and the year before that.”
Although the team isn’t set in stone, many analysts expect the 19-year-old to be one of the cornerstones for Team Canada.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Dumba said. “It’s a great opportunity for me to just go out there and experience everything about that. I haven’t had the chance to play at the World Junior level thus far, so I’m looking forward to it and I can’t wait to get started.”
Dumba has collected two points (1-1=2) in 13 games with Minnesota this season. He made his NHL debut on Oct. 5 against Anaheim becoming the second-youngest defenseman to make his NHL debut with the Wild (19 years, 72 days) behind Nick Schultz in 2001 (19 years, 50 days). Dumba scored his first NHL goal against Dallas on Oct. 12 and registered his first NHL assist vs. Carolina on Oct. 24.