Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dumba Trade: What Does it Mean?

So after much speculation on the twitter-verse, Portland revealed the other day that they had traded beloved 4th line center Presten Kopeck and 3 conditional draft picks to the Red Deer Rebels for the rights to Matt Dumba. Dumba is a 19 year Defenseman who was picked 7th overall in the 2012 NHL draft and has been with the Minnesota Wild all of this year. Dumba, who has only played in 13 games this season for the Wild and not since November 23rd, could be sent back to the WHLm due to not being eligible to play in the AHL.

The full details of the trade would not come out until the next day, revealing that the Hawks, who do not have a first round Bantam draft pick in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, have conditionally given up their second round Bantam draft picks in 2014, 2015 and 2016 to Red Deer. Should Dumba not return until an un-specified (to us anyways) date, the 2016 pick would turn into a 3rd rounder. Should Dumba not be returned at all, the Hawks would receive a 2014 3rd round pick from the Rebels for Kopeck.

So What Does it All Mean?
-This is yet another gamble by Head Coach/ General Manager Mike Johnston for an elite player. He has made many such moves in the season, in an attempt to shore up the lineup with proven WHL assets, even though they may only play the rest of the season for the Hawks:

1) 2009-10 With Lethbridge for Luca Sbisa:
Sbisa (now with Anaheim)

-D-man Daniel Johnston, Forward Jacob Berglund and their 2010 first round CHL Import Draft pick for 19 year old D-man Luca Sbisa, Lethbridge's top CHL import pick (Sven Bartschi) and their 5th round 2011 Bantam Draft pick (Michael Fortin).
Sbisa, who had played in 47 NHL games over 2 season, was picked up to provide a needed top pairing D-man and he delivered. He had a hand injury that did not allow to play as many games in the regular season as hoped, but provided 4 points in the playoffs and played well, before the Hawks were bounced by Vancouver. Acquiring the rights to the 7th pick in order to pick Bartschi was easily the best part about this draft, as he would go on tear up the WHL and help lead the Hawks to 2 straight Western Conference titles. Result: WIN.

2) 2010-11 With Vancouver for Craig Cunningham:
Cunningham (now with the AHL's Bruins)

-Forwards Spencer Bennett, Teal Burns, 2011 first round Bantam pick (Thomas Foster) and second round 2012 Bantam pick (Jesse Roach) for Cunningham and the Vancouver's 2011 6th round pick.
Cunningham was a natural fir at Center on the Hawk's second line with Bartschi and Ty Rattie, potting 42 regular season points over 35 games with the Hawks and then adding 21 post-season points in 21 games as the Hawks made it all the way to the WHL Finals before falling to Kootenay. Cunningham not only centered that second line, he brought a lot of post-season experience and winning attitude from his being a 16 year old on Vancouver's 2006-07 Memorial Cup champion team. Bennet, a fellow 20 year old netted 49 points in 35 games with Vancouver and Teal Burns scored 13 in 30, before bouncing around to 3 different teams over the next 2 seasons in the WHL. Foster, a 17 year old, has 12 points in 33 games with the Giants this season and could blossom into something, while Roach is not playing with the squad.
Result: WIN (but a lot closer)

3) 2011-12 With Seattle for Marcel Noebels:
Noebels (now with the AHL's Phantoms)

-Forward Seth Swenson, 2012 (Keegan Kolesar) and 2013 (Kaden Elder) first round Bantam picks for Marcel Noebels.
Noebels was another acquisition that fit exactly what the Hawks needed, a big gritty Forward that can score goals. He would end up scoring 34 points in 31 regular season games and adding 23 points in 22 post-season games, as the Hawks would advance to game 7 of the WHL finals before losing to Edmonton. Noebels came as advertised and scored several key goals during that run for the Hawks, as well as, providing sold back-checking form the forward position. Kolesar, a 16 year old playing in his first season, has looked like he might be a burgeoning star, but it still is too early to tell. Meanwhile, Swenson, not getting much time in Portland, has blossomed into a solid 2 way forward and a great leader in the Seattle locker room. He brings a lot of the same assets to the table that now ex-Hawk Kopeck did.
Result: Too Early To Tell. If Swenson leads Seattle to a deep run and Kolesar becomes a proven asset, the T-birds might pull this one out.

So, as you can see, Johnston loves to make big moves, as long as, that fit into the mold of his team and Dumba certainly does. There will be much speculation regarding whether Minnesota will send him down, but it was a gamble the once excellent on defense Hawks had to make.

All in all though, Johnston has gotten a lot out of "rental" players and consistently found a way to get players outside of the Bantam draft to come to Portland and produce. If Dumba does come to Portland, look for a player that should fit really well into the Hawks locker room and provide the team with a guy who has played some on the highest level in the sport.

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