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Man on a mission

Matt Dumba makes immediate impact in Des Moines

Iowa Wild defenseman Matt Dumba, shown here swinging behind the Minnesota Wild net in an Oct. 4 preseason game against the St. Louis Blues, has been turning heads since his arrival in Des Moines last month. (MHM Photo / Jeff Wegge)

Matt Dumba makes immediate impact in Des Moines

DES MOINES – On Nov. 29, the Minnesota Wild assigned defenseman Matt Dumba to the Iowa Wild. The next night he played his first AHL game since May 4, 2013 in the Calder Cup Playoffs against the Grand Rapids Griffins as a member of the Houston Aeros.

Since joining the Iowa Wild, Dumba has made an immediate impact, including setting a new team mark for plus-minus with a plus-4 rating on Dec. 8 against the Charlotte Checkers in Charlotte.

After a 4-1 in over the San Antonio Rampage on Thursday night at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Dumba said that he expected to have that kind of immediate impact on the team.

Dumba3

Matt Dumba says he wants to be a difference maker during his Iowa stint. (MHM Photo / Jeff Wegge)

“I believe in myself, I have confidence,” Dumba said. “That’s the type of player I am. I want to make a difference and down here, getting the ice time that I am, I’m trying to do the best I can without trying to force things or do a little too much, because sometimes I can do that. It’s just keeping simplicity in my game and just trying to be sharp and make hard plays.”

Dumba has four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in his first four Iowa games including an assist against San Antonio on Thursday, a goal and an assist on the game-winning goal at Charlotte on Monday and a goal in his first game with the team at San Antonio on Nov. 30.

Confidence is something Iowa coach John Torchetti also says he sees in Dumba.

“He’s only going to get better,” Torchetti said. “He’s confident, he’s one of our leaders and he knows that; and he’s only been here two weeks.”

After the game against San Antonio, Torchetti called Dumba a “naturally-gifted player.”

“He’s going to drift in the offensive zone, he’s going to join the rush naturally,” Torchetti said.

The 2012 first-round draft pick by Minnesota now has seven AHL regular-season games under his belt in his career and four career points, all this season. He has also played 33 NHL regular-season games in his career, all for Minnesota, and has recorded six points (2 goals, 4 assists).

Learning to play with new guys is not a task Dumba has had to deal with very much since he joined Iowa as he has known a lot of the current players for two years since he was drafted as they have all gone through the system in Minnesota together.

“A lot of them are good buddies,” Dumba said. “It’s kind of nice coming down here and having some chemistry with some of these guys.”

Clint Cole is a freelance hockey writer and reports for Minnesota Hockey Magazine providing coverage of the Iowa Wild, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Minnesota Wild. Clint has grown up around hockey and played the sport since he was a kid all the way through high school. For more coverage of the Iowa Wild, including live tweets from many games, follow @Colezy24 on Twitter.

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