Mathew Dumba was in the NHL for the second straight season but similar to last season he was left to be a spectator in the Minnesota Wild's regular-season opener. Coach Mike Yeo could sense the nerves Dumba Minnesota's 19-year-old defenseman was playing with even in practice. So instead of letting Dumba play in the season-opener on Thursday Dumba was a healthy scratch and Clayton Stoner played with Keith Ballard. Yeo wanted his young defenseman to relax just a bit more before letting him hit the ice in the NHL. The wait didn't do much for Dumba's nerves but he got his chance to make his NHL debut on Saturday night in the Wild's 4-3 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks. "It was awesome" Dumba said. "It's everything I dreamed of. I know there's still a lot of hard work in front of me. It would have been nice to get the win tonight." Dumba played 10 minutes 22 seconds on Saturday pairing with the veteran Ballard. He finished with one shot on goal. "I think my first couple of shifts were a bit jittery and what-not but I think I settled in better" Dumba said. "As (Ballard) talked to me more the game seemed to be easier and I was just making better plays." Jonas Brodin debuted last season for Minnesota as a 19-year-old and was one of the top rookies in the league. Dumba is not guaranteed to stick on the Wild's roster all season. Minnesota can still send him back to his junior team if he hasn't played more than nine games to not start the clock on his entry-level contract.
Mathew Dumba gets over nerves in his NHL debut
Fox Sports North | Oct 6