WINTERHAWKS: Portland makes Wild deal for D-man
It's about the standard time of year that the Portland Winterhawks tweak their roster and bolster their lineup for the long haul, and the Hawks made one significant move on Tuesday with that in mind.
The Hawks pulled off a deal that could bring them a defenseman from the NHL Minnesota Wild, Mathew Dunba.
Portland sent forward Presten Kopeck and conditional draft picks to the Red Deer Rebels in exchange for the rights to Dumba, 19, who was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2012 NHL draft and has played 13 games with the Wild this season.
Dumba, 6-0, 180 pounds, could be returned to the Hawks for more Western Hockey League play.
Last season, he appeared in 62 games for Red Deer, totaling 16 goals and 26 assists. He has played 199 games over four seasons with the Rebels, with career totals of 51 goals and 76 assists. He was the fourth overall pick, by Red Deer, in the 2009 bantam draft.
"He's an impact player who can dominate both ends of the ice," says Mike Johnston, Winterhawks coach/general manager.
The Hawks have been continuing to work on their goals and shots allowed, and their defensive corps this season has lacked the offensive component it had a year ago with the likes of Troy Rutkowski and Seth Jones, in particular.
Kopeck joins a Red Deer team that lost 5-4 at home to Portland last weekend.
"They've got a young team that is building for the future," Johnston says.
Kopeck could fit in well there, Johnston adds.
Kopeck had four goals and six assists in his second season with the Winterhawks, after getting 19 points in 64 games last season.
Dumba is attending Canada's selection camp for its world junior tournament team, and he is expected to join Winterhawks Nic Petan, Taylor Leier and Derrick Pouliot on the squad that will compete in the tourney through Jan. 5 in Sweden.
Then he could be released from the Wild to Portland for the remainder of the WHL season.