Written by The Burgh Blog writer: Austin Tocco
Right before the Penguins won the cup back in 2009, a defenseman by the name of Brian Dumoulin was drafted 51st overall to the Carolina Hurricanes by then GM Jim Rutherford. At that age, Dumoulin was too young to get any experience at the blue line for the Canes, so Rutherford involved him in a blockbuster with Pittsburgh on June 22, 2012. Penguins GM Ray Shero offered a 10 year extension to Penguins forward Jordan Staal who rejected the same day. The Penguins sent Jordan Staal to Carolina for a No. 8 overall pick, center Brandon Sutter, and defenseman Brian Dumoulin. Since that trade, I never would have thought that Brian Dumoulin would be the best acquisition out of that deal. The No. 8 overall pick landed Derrick Pouliot, and Brandon Sutter was traded this past off-season. Playing a couple years in the AHL for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, Dumoulin developed his game and landed him a starting spot this year for the Penguins. The 6 foot 3 inch defenseman played well the entire season and aided in the Penguins bringing another championship to Pittsburgh. Now at the age of 24, his game has solidified and he has matured as a person and as a player, which is why I think that Dumoulin is one of the most underrated players the Penguins have on their roster.
Brian Dumoulin has grown not only as a player but as a person. Throughout his time in Wilkes-Barre, Dumoulin took many steps up to becoming the player he is today. Playing in the AHL for 3 years definitely helped Brian develop his game and become a complete defenseman and a true team player. That is by far the biggest positive for this 24 year old, the fact that he has grown and matured in the Penguins system and has not bounced around. Another great thing about this defenseman is the fact that he is still young and has much room to get even better. He is more of a stay at home defenseman, really locks down in his own zone. Dumoulin is really good at reading passes which leads to interceptions. Dumoulin is a great skater as well, Brian’s ability to stay strong on his feet while battling for the puck is huge behind goaltender Matt Murray. He also has an exceptional amount of speed for a defenseman. This speed allows him to match the faster players in the league. Brian also contributes an elevated level of maturity in the locker room and on the ice. He hardly ever takes penalties and contributes to the team in however way head coach Mike Sullivan wants him to. Whether it was blocking a shot to save a goal, or scoring in game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, Dumoulin responded appropriately. This defenseman adds depth to a Penguins D-pairings that was lacking just that a year ago. Brian Dumoulin is a great defenseman, and he really stepped up during the playoffs when Trevor Daley went down. I would like to see the youth of Dumoulin in the lineup again for the Penguins for years to come.
Dumoulin does not produce as much as he probably should. Granted, the Penguins are very lucky to have players like Trevor Daley and Kris Letang would can score from the blue line on any given night, but they cannot be on the ice for 60 minutes a night. I think that if Dumoulin works on his scoring and play making skills, he will frustrate the opposition night in and night out. If he adds just 5 more goals to a season, which would probably give us a couple more wins during the regular season due to how close these games are. You always see the final score being 2-1, 3-2, or 1-0, adding just a few more tallies would be extremely beneficial to the club.
2016 Statistics + Playoffs:
+/- : +8
On July 9, 2015, Brian Dumoulin signed a two year contract totaling a salary of $800,000 per year. He is signed through the 2016-17 season.
Overall Rating: B+