Blue Jacket prospect Jordan Dumais set out to prove something this season. Determined to prove a lot of NHL teams wrong for passing on him, the 2022 third round pick victimized the QMJHL all season – and he still has a year of eligibility left.
When a player (or person in general) feels like they didn’t get something they deserved, there are two ways one might typically respond. The most common is to bring up the whole “what about me” attitude and build self doubt. But in the case of Jordan Dumais, falling to the 96th slot in the draft took him in the other direction, and used it as motivation for an entire season of junior hockey.
This year, he had the best regular season in Halifax Mooseheads history – scoring 54 goals and 140 points in 64 games – besting the 1999-00 season by Ramzi Abid by three points. He’s the first Mooseheads player to win the QMJHL scoring title; and did so with the highest total the league has seen since Alexander Radulov scored 152 points in 2005-06.
Dumais led the ‘Q by a full 21 points, and finished second in the entire CHL in scoring behind only super prospect Connor Bedard (143 points). Not bad for a 5’9″, 175 pound winger deemed “too small” by a lot of teams at the draft.
This wasn’t the case of an overage player matching up against younger, less experienced competition. This wasn’t the case of a player feeding on a line with other high draft picks either; Dumais played much of the season with Alex Doucet and Josh Lawrence, neither of whom have NHL rights. Dumais drove the offense for his line and the Mooseheads as a whole; while the team went on to win 50 games for the first time in franchise history.
The play above shows why he was so productive all season. This looks like a power-play, but it’s actually 5-on-5; Dumais vacates his position to take open ice in a prime scoring area. This causes the high defender to rush back late, while drawing in the low near-post defender. Now that he gets the puck in a high danger area, all of the attention is on him – but he flips a no-look backhand pass to Alex Doucet for an easy goal. He knew right where Doucet was going to be, before he even received the puck.
Dumais doesn’t have the blazing speed of a Cam Atkinson, or the elite hands of an Artemi Panarin. He doesn’t have the big shot like Oliver Bjorkstrand or Yegor Chinakhov … but he does all of these things at an above average level, which he combines with a high end hockey IQ. He’s always in the weeds, barely noticeable unless you’re actively watching him – only to have the puck find him wide open in a dangerous area.
This is the kind of thing you only see in cerebral offensive players; it’s a rare quality and I think for this reason alone, Dumais is going to be a point producer anywhere he goes. Unfortunately, he has one year of junior eligibility left before he’s able to play in the American Hockey League – which is where he probably should be next season. I don’t see him making the Jackets this fall, so chances are that he’ll be looking to break his own scoring records for the Mooseheads next season.