StaTuesday: After surge, Wild’s Dumba on pace for career year

After registering just one goal in 25 games to start the season, Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba has finally found his scoring touch.

Dumba led all NHL defensemen in goals last month, notching six goals and four assists in 13 games, beating out the likes of P.K. Subban and Brent Burns in December.

Player
Team GP G A P S S%
Matt Dumba
Wild 14 6 4 10 26 23.1
P.K. Subban
Predators 13 5 6 11 33 15.2
Shayne Gostisbehere
Flyers 13 5 5 10 43 11.6
Brent Burns
Sharks 12 5 9 14 49 10.2
Zach Werenski
Blue Jackets 10 4 1 5 36 11.1
Seth Jones
Blue Jackets 14 4 7 11 42 9.5
Cam Fowler
Ducks 14 4 3 7 27 14.8
Aaron Ekblad
Panthers 14 3 1 4 42 7.1
Cody Ceci
Senators 14 3 1 4 32 9.4
Noah Hanifin
Hurricanes 15 3 4 7 42 7.1

He carried the team completely at one point, accounting for all three of the Wild’s goals in back-to-back meetings with the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks in mid-December.

Dumba’s shooting percentage was a wicked (and unsustainable) 23.1 percent in December and stands at 10.8 percent on the season. Couple that with low volume — Dumba has shot the puck just 65 times in 39 games, 60th in the league amongst defensemen — and he could be in the midst of a career year, especially if he starts to shoot a bit more.

Dumba is on pace for a career-high 44 points and 15 goals following his December outburst, which tracks with the 23-year-old’s development through parts of five seasons in the NHL.

Season
Age GP G A P S S%
2013-14
19 13 1 1 2 12 8.3
2014-15
20 58 8 8 16 86 9.3
2015-16
21 81 10 16 26 152 6.6
2016-17
22 76 11 23 34 131 8.4
2017-18
23 39 7 14 21 65 10.8

Those numbers would put Dumba in the hunt for the franchise scoring record for defensemen, a list he’s been climbing since scoring 10 goals during the 2015-16 season. Burns has the single-season franchise record after scoring 17 goals during the 2010-11 season, his last with the Wild. Burns had had nearly-identical numbers as Dumba at this point in his fifth season: eight goals and 14 assists in 39 games.

Player
Season G A P S S%
Brent Burns
2011 17 29 46 170 10
Brent Burns
2008 15 28 43 158 9.5
Marc-Andre Bergeron
2009 14 18 32 140 10
Marek Zidlicky
2009 12 30 42 147 8.2
Jared Spurgeon
2016 11 18 29 122 9
Ludomir Sekeras
2001 11 23 34 102 10.8
Marco Scandella
2015 11 12 23 112 9.8
Matt Dumba
2017 11 23 34 131 8.4
Jared Spurgeon
2017 10 28 38 144 6.9
Kurtis Foster
2006 10 18 28 124 8.1