Dumba, Graovac Heading To Camp

Now that the calender has turned and we're now into December, it means for us that The World Junior Championships and the hoopla surrounding the event begin to ratchet up. Today a number of Selection Camp rosters were revealed, and it wouldn't be Canada if they didn't get worked up about their Selection Camp roster- which, convenient for us Wild fans, have two players who are Minnesota properties in Mathew Dumba and Tyler Graovac.

So after the jump, we'll touch on their selections and their chances of wearing the Maple Leaf at this year's Tournament in Ufa, Russia.

Tyler Graovac

The Ottawa 67's Center is enjoying a breakout season, in which he's scored nearly a goal a game; 18 in 23 (and added nine assists too), although he missed a handful of games recently due to a wonky groin. The 6'4" pivot does it all; he's scoring goals, he can set up teammates, but he also plays a complete 200 foot game, kills penalties, and wins key faceoffs. Barring catastrophic injuries, Graovac won't be looked at for offense, not with guys like Jonathan Huberdeau, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ty Rattie, and perhaps possible 2013 1st overall pick Nathan MacKinnon being looked at to do so. If he makes the team, it will be in a checking/defense first/grinder role. There will be stiff competition for those spots though, with the likes of Boone Jenner, Mark McNeill, Colton Scissons, and Philip Danault all capable of playing that role. Graovac challenged himself to play a role assigned him for The Subway Series, and there's no reason to believe he couldn't in this instance.

Personally I'm not banking on Graovac making it- in fact I'd be surprised if he did, but there is a chance he continues to ride the momentum of a hot start this season and translates that into a strong Selection Camp.

Mathew Dumba
The word on the street is that Dumba, Minnesota's first round pick this last summer (7th overall), is a favorite of Hockey Canada, as he's participated on a number of teams in the last few years, including serving as Captain for the Canadian entry for the U-18 Championships this last Spring. Dumba was chosen as the Top Defenseman of the Tournament, and has a quality to his game that gets butts in seats, only to make those same butts get out of their seats with a big hit or a scintillating offensive play.
Much is made about his on-ice skill, but Dumba is highly regarded for his leadership qualities and competitiveness, something that could bolster a perennial Gold Medal contender. However, he's likely in a similar position to Kitchener Rangers star Ryan Murphy- Dumba too will have to play "mistake free" to make the team. That would mean toning down his riverboat gambler nature and the desire to go go go.

That said, Dumba has a very good chance of making the team considering how versatile he is as a blueliner; he and Slater Koekkoek were a formidable shutdown pair at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament, and he's got the shot and wheels to contribute offensively- not to mention the ability to make a big hit to turn the tide of momentum.

When Team USA releases their Selection Camp roster in the days to come, FRB will opine on the likely inclusion of Mario Lucia.

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