Dumoulin: Draft Day Surprise
By Mike O'Brien
The announcement came roughly around 8:09pm on Friday, June 22. The Pittsburgh Penguins had traded Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for the No. 8 overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, center Brandon Sutter and defenseman Brian Dumoulin.
Almost all aspects of the trade were immediately dissected by fans and the media. The pick turned into highly-touted defensive prospect, Derrick Pouliot of the Western Hockey Leauge’s Portland Winterhawks. Debates quickly arose as to how Sutter would fill-in at the third-line center spot newly vacated by Staal.
The portion of the transaction that fell mostly under the radar, yet still may have a significant impact on the Penguins’ fortunes this year, is the acquisition of Dumoulin. The 20-year old out of Biddeford, Maine was originally drafted in the second round (51st overall) by the Hurricanes in 2009 – the summer before his freshman year at Boston College.
For all of the top-notch defensemen that have come through BC’s program during its recent dynasty-like run, whispers could be heard that Dumoulin might project to the best pro of them all. His accomplishments at Chestnut Hill have done nothing to dispel such talk.
During his three seasons at The Heights, Dumoulin helped lead the Eagles to two NCAA Championships (2010 & 2012) while compiling 83 points (11g-72a) in 123 contests. He was a part of a defense that ranked second in the nation last season, holding opponents to just 2.02 goals per game. Perhaps most impressive was Dumoulin’s astounding +87 plus/minus rating over the span of his career at BC, even leading all of college hockey as a freshman (+37).
Having signed an entry-level contract with the Hurricanes almost immediately following his junior season, Dumoulin took the draft night fireworks in stride.
“I had no idea going into [the night],” said Dumoulin. “Once I heard the trade was involving Pittsburgh and knowing all the familiar faces in the locker room, I was excited.”
Those familiar faces include several players that skated alongside Dumoulin as the Eagles were racking up national championships. Joining him at the Penguins’ Development Camp in July were Brian Gibbons and Philip Samuelsson – rookies last season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He could also find himself manning the blueline this season with recently resigned and former BC defenseman, Carl Sneep.
While having old teammates in the locker room may make for smoother transition to the professional ranks, Dumoulin is focused on doing what it takes to stick at the next level.
“I’m looking to work on my foot speed and gap control,” Dumoulin commented. “Players are only going to get better and better [at this level]. If I can take away their time and space, it’s going to benefit me and the team.
Dumoulin found himself a part of one of the biggest trades in the NHL this summer. He joins one of the most successful organizations in the league, but one also stocked with a ton of defensive depth. Like BC defenseman before him such as Brooks Orpik and Rob Scuderi, Dumoulin looks to build on his collegiate success and perhaps be lifting a Stanley Cup for the Penguins in the years to come.