Welcome back to another AATJ profile! Today, at least in my humble opinion, we are looking at one of the most interesting cases in this year’s draft. Jordan’s season this year in the QMJHL can be rightfully be described as historic. He produced offense in spades, every single night, and was constantly popping up on the score sheet, to the tune of over 100 points. In the last 7 seasons, only Alexis Lafreniere scored more in the Q, and Dumais did it a year sooner than Alexis did. Despite that, he is ranked nowhere near the first round, and in fact, most have a third round grade on him. Why is there such a big discrepancy? And where could he be drafted? Let’s dive in.
Who is Jordan Dumais?
Jordan is a diminutive, 5’9” winger weighing 165 pounds according to Elite Prospects. That right there is the main reason why he isn’t rated as a first-rounder, or even a second-rounder to many. Even if he does add some weight to that frame, a definite likelihood, he would still be small for NHL standards, and that will certainly make teams shy away, even if they should not. Smaller wingers, especially that small, do not get drafted high, and it impacts his draft ranking in a big way.
Jordan has a late birthday, April 15, and so is playing younger than most. He hails from L’Île-Bizard, Quebec, which is an island that is now incorporated into the city of Montreal. Despite that, he spent two years playing AAA bantam hockey for the Selects Academy in the USA. He dominated the U15 league there with 125 points in 52 games before being drafted into the QMJHL to play for the Halifax Mooseheads. His first year in the Q was not bad for a 16 year old, as he ended up with 29 points in 40 games. But this past season, as a 17 year old, he obviously blew up, to the tune of 109 points in 68 games. 70 of those points came as assists on a decent but not great Halifax team that ended the season with a 38-28-1-1 record. So it’s not like he was playing on some dominant team where the assists were easy to come by, it was an above average but not great team that needed all of his points.
Sadly, coming from Canada and having spent time playing in the States, Dumais does not have international experience, and that certainly does not help his draft rankings. However, perhaps to make up for that somewhat, he has been a quality playoff producer so far in his career. With the Selects Academy AAA, he had 7 points in 3 playoff games, and then last year for Halifax, he had 6 points in 5 playoff games. Anyone who can translate regular season success into playoff points has something going for him, so while it isn’t the same as having strong international experience on your resume, it isn’t bad either.
Where is Dumais Ranked?
-Central Scouting, in their final rankings, has Jordan as the #73rd ranked North American skater. This is, at best, a third round grade, possibly fourth round depending on where the Europeans go. And this was down from the midterms where he was ranked #72, so despite his strong season, Central Scouting actually lowered their grade on him.
-Elite Prospects is higher on him than that, but still has him #71 overall.
-Future Considerations has him more in line with Central Scouting, ranking him #95 overall.
-The Hockey Writers have one of the higher rankings for him, putting him #68 overall.
-Finally, Smaht Scouting is in line with FC, putting him #94 overall.
What Others Have Said About Dumais
The Hockey Writers have up their profile on Dumais, and this comes from the site that ranks him higher than most at #68 overall. As they note, “Smaller players often don’t get the recognition they deserve. Just ask 5-foot-9 Johnny Gaudreau, who was drafted in the fourth round.” Given that, they are obviously high on his game. They love his playmaking abilities, calling him “one of the best playmakers in the 2022 Draft class.” Specifically, they rave about his “incredible set of hands…he can quickly scan the ice, find the perfect opening, and send a strong, crisp pass to a teammate for a beautiful scoring chance.”
Beyond his playmaking and passing, which they call top-notch this year, they also appreciate his skating as well, although noting that it isn’t the best part of the game. As they wrote, he’s “quick on his feet, and although his stride is not the most fluid, he can generate enough speed with some strong edge work to evade attackers and change direction on a dime.” But perhaps more than anything else, they love this kid’s work ethic. As they write, “he is relentless in his pursuit of a goal…he is aggressive on the forecheck and patient in transition, and although he’s not always the most committed on defence, he has enough vision and awareness to jump in when needed.”
So it seems from this profile that Dumais is a fantastic playmaker with a strong work ethic and quality skating, but isn’t a top flite skater and needs more work defensively. Overall, however, THW writes that Dumais will most likely fall into the third round, and the only real reason is because of his size. They note that being a top flite skater doesn’t help given his size, but that the size is the real reason. The top-ranked QMJHL prospect had only 57 points in 66 games but is 6 inches taller. Nonetheless, they are confident that whoever takes him will be getting a future star akin to Gaudreau or Brayden Point.
Dobber Prospects does not yet have a full profile up on Dumais, but they have a nice blurb from January along with a nice PNHLe graph to project his potential point totals at the NHL level. The paragraph write up excellently encapsulates his game, so I will blockquote it here:
Dumais is an undersized but offensively gifted winger who uses his quickness and intelligence to pounce on mistakes by the opposition. He has good speed and is strong on his edges, allowing him to quickly alter course in tight spaces, but he suffers from a lack of stride extension that could make his skating an even greater differentiator. Dumais has shown the ability to quickly identify his options and make a play but there are times when he can hold onto the puck a bit too long waiting for things to develop. His ability to escape pressure helps mitigate that issue at the junior level but he will need to improve that part of his game as he progresses. Dumais can play between checks along the wall and has the skill to make plays coming off the boards but I would like to see him get to middle ice more consistently. That said, his vision as a passer makes him a threat on the perimeter where he can pick apart coverages and funnel pucks towards the net. He is dangerous in transition as well, slowing the game down when necessary and using good lateral movement to open up seams off the rush. Though he is more of a pass-first player, he has the hands to finish in close and his release is deceptively heavy for a player of his stature. Dumais isn’t exactly a defensive stalwart and he can get caught leaning towards the offensive end on occasion, but his quick shift ability and intelligence in reading the play usually allows him to recover and stay involved. His lack of size could see him slip in the draft but he has the potential to be a dynamic playmaking winger in the NHL with the proper development. Nick Richard
As you can see, he is mostly all positive about him with some minor exceptions. He likes his quickness but not his top-line speed because of his small stride. Sometimes he holds the puck too long waiting for a play, but he is still quick at identifying where the play has to go. He leans offensively and doesn’t commit as much defensively, but his transition game is top-notch. Overall, it relates to someone who has a real chance to succeed at the NHL level, despite his size. So much so that this is the PNHLe chart they put out on him:
So from that chart, they project that he can be someone who could push for 90 points in a season in the NHL one day. That is superstar potential. But again, he’s a third rounder because of his size.
Finally, check out some quotes from Halifax’s own website, where they wrote an article about Dumais’ breakout season back in November. From one scout: “Jordan has really taken a big step forward this year. He has been playing with good NHL prospects and showing that he can play right along with them. He is a pleasant surprise for me.” From Dumais’ linemate Elliot Desnoyers: “I really love it (playing on his line). Dumer’s vision is one of the best, if not the best I’ve ever played with. I think he did a really good job improving his speed during the off-season.” Also Desnoyers: “I know for a fact, the team that drafts him is going to get a really excellent professional and also a great human being.” A different scout: “I see him as a small dynamic playmaking winger with top six upside. He creates scoring chances for both himself and his teammates with his skating, puck skills, vision and great offensive instincts. He isn’t the biggest guy but shows very good compete on both sides of the puck. He will need to get stronger and add weight in order to play at next level.”
A Little Video
When you have someone who’s scored as much as Jordan has, you’re going to get long highlight packages, and here is one that’s over 8 minutes long. Dumais wears #11.
Here are highlights from a game in October where he did very well:
There are other game highlights where he scored a goal or assisted on a shot, but most are in that major highlight package, so I am not going to post more here. If you want to see more of those game highlights, check out these YouTube search results.
I still remember very clearly, the first year I started writing for this website was in 2014, and for the first SBN mock draft that I was here for, we took Brayden Point 30th overall. That was the year the Devils should not have had a pick thanks to the Ilya Kovalchuk deal but got back the last pick in the first round. And it was a golden opportunity to draft someone who would become a star in this league. But instead, Lou took John Quenneville, who ended up playing 33 games for New Jersey, and this past season played overseas in Switzerland. But hey, Quenneville was 6’1”, so there’s that right?
Now, of course, that isn’t to imply that we as fans and writers on this website know better than the scouts and coaches. Mostly, we don’t. I don’t express any ultimate superiority of discerning hockey talent over anyone, that’s for sure. But man, that year, we had that draft pegged perfectly. And instead, Point fell to the third round, the Devils passed him up multiple times, and he became a star in Tampa. So, before you read on, you should know that what I just described is absolutely going to taint how I feel about Dumais and what the Devils should do.
That being said, the Devils definitely should take Dumais. The Devils pick 37th overall and again at 69th overall. If he is available at pick #69, I see absolutely zero reasons why Tom Fitzgerald shouldn’t run up to that podium himself to make the selection. And according to most pundits and analysts, he should be available at that time. Also, considering where Point and other diminutive wingers have gone in the past, he most likely will be there. What will the other options be in the third round? Most likely some bigger, Quenneville-like forward who is 6 foot, hits a bunch, and maybe scored 0.6 points per game in the OHL. At that point, why not take a chance on Dumais? The kid does nothing but produce points, and has done so at every level he has played, and has done so generally as a younger kid compared to his peers given his birthdate.
Now, I think the main argument against taking him, size not included, would be that he is a playmaker and not a scorer. And for the Devils, this roster really needs goal scorers, not distributors. Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier are great distributors, and you can tell that Dawson Mercer is heading that way. These guys need scorers around them, not others who also pass first and shoot second. So, if you want to make that argument against taking him, I think it is a valid one. However, I still think it’s worth taking this kid. He is not NHL ready, he is going to probably play one more season in the Q, and then will need at least one full season in the AHL before he is ready to face NHL competition and score at any sort of decent rate. By that time, the Devils might need more playmakers, who knows what the roster will look like by that time. With a pick like this, the Devils cannot focus on what is needed now, they just need to take someone who has incredible talent and could succeed in any fashion. And Dumais fits that bill perfectly. So again, I know that past experience is making me biased here, but I still think he is a guy you want to have in your system. Tom Fitzgerald, please take him if he is available at pick 69. Thanks.
So, do you agree? Do you think Jordan Dumais is someone the New Jersey Devils should absolutely take at 69th overall? If so, why? Or, do you agree with most of the analysts that 69 is just too high for him given his size? If that’s the case, why do you think this, and where do you think would be more appropriate for him to go? Please leave your comments below, and thanks for reading another prospect profile here at AATJ!