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2019-20 Season in Review: Brian Dumoulin

One of the best kept secrets for the Penguins had an injury plagued 2019-20 season. But the Penguins did lots of good things with him last season.

Ottawa Senators v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images


Player: Brian Dumoulin

Born: September 6, 1991 (29-years-old)

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 207 pounds

Birthplace: Biddeford, ME

Shoots: Left

Draft: 2009 Carolina, 2nd Round, 51st overall

2019-20 Statistics: 28 games played, 1 goal, 7 assists, +17, 10 PIM

Contract Status: Finished year three of six year contract that runs through 2022-23 at a salary cap hit of $4.1 million dollars per season.

Looking Back

Last year, Dumoulin graded out extremely well with 81% of voters giving Dumo an A and 98% gave him a B grade or better.

Career Regular Season History

Year five for Dumoulin was by far his worst in terms of games played, but his numbers were on par, and slightly improved, with the majority of his career in the games Dumoulin did play in. Dumoulin missed multiple big chunks of games with several injuries early in the season. He was hurt in pregame against Vegas in October (which quickly ended Jack Johnson’s view from the press box, but also opened John Marino’s opportunity wide open). But the biggest blow came late in November when Dumoulin missed three months after he had surgery to repair lacerated tendons in his left ankle.

Advanced Stats History & 2019-20 Season

(Ranks are out of the 8 highest TOI defenseman this season at 5v5 with 250 minutes played)

Corsi For%: 56.72% (1st among D, and overall for PIT skaters)
Goals For%: 57.6% (2nd)
xGF%: 55.0% (2nd)
Scoring Chance %: 57.5%(2nd)
High Danger Scoring Chance%: 55.6% (2nd)
5v5 on-ice shooting%: 11.8% (1st)
On-ice save%: 88.1% (8th)

And here you see why Dumoulin is a fan favorite in Pittsburgh. Just another great year in the advanced stats category from Dumo. Good things happen when he’s on the ice as he ranks first or second in nearly every category you want to see from a d-man. The sore thumb is the on ice save percentage, which is shockingly low at 5v5 for any player in the league, and is more of an anomaly than anything. Dumo’s GF/60 was a very impressive 4.25, first on the team, but the Penguins also allowed 3.12 GA/60 which ranks last on the Penguins. It was quite a roller coaster season for Dumoulin last year.


4 games played, 0 goals, 1 assist, +/-0, 4 PIM

Dumo assisted on the game-winning goal from Jason Zucker in Game 2, but otherwise had a quiet series like everyone else for the Penguins. However, he was one of the few players who didn’t take a step back against Montreal.

Monthly Split


Dumo appeared like he was primed for a monster season with one (short-handed!) goal and six assists and a +17 in only 23 games before his season nearly ended in November. He was reported to be out a minimum of eight weeks before returning 12 weeks later in March for five games before the regular season ended.

Charts (via HockeyViz)

Overall Role & General Data

Per usual, Dumoulin played the bulk of his minutes last season on the top line with Kris Letang. Dumo also played a large amount with John Marino when Letang was sidelined for several weeks in October. When Dumo was in the lineup, he played big minutes against big competition.

Defensive Impact

As you can see, Dumoulin patrolled the left side of the defensive end, and when he was out there it was basically a dead zone. Almost the entire left side is a darker shade of blue, which is what you want to see from a top pair defender. His xG/60 was a pretty respectable 2.18, which was about on pace with his career averages.

Penalty Kill Impact

This one isn’t quite a noticeable difference between Dumoulin and the rest of the Penguins on the penalty kill, but the xG/60 when Dumoulin was on the ice compared to when he was not is still nearly a half a goal per game. Unfortunately Dumoulin was injured the majority of the season and did not have a major impact on the penalty kill last season.

Bottom line

Dumoulin is fully established as a top pair defenseman with Kris Letang, and the two completely owned the ice when they play together. This season will be remembered mostly for his injury woes as he missed the majority of a regular season that ended early which ultimately ended in the Penguins coming closer to the first overall pick than the Stanley Cup. It looked like this was going to be another big step forward for Dumoulin but he unfortunately only played in nine total games for the Penguins since November. It was a bummer of a season for Dumo, but when he played he was his usual steady and reliable self. Hard to blame him for missing time after playing nearly every game for the Penguins the last four seasons.

Ideal 2020-21

As Dumo and the rest of the Penguins get one year older, an injury free season would be most ideal. He came flying out of the gates last year and hopefully he can manage to start 2020-21 very similarly. Dumoulin has been the most reliable player for the Penguins since he became a regular five years ago. I’d imagine Dumo will return to his usual numbers once again and lead the Penguins defensively next year.

Question to ponder

Dumoulin is probably one of the safest players on the team after Sidney Crosby, so his future with Pittsburgh is very stable. But with him days away from turning 29 and entering his final year in his twenties, will he be able to pick up where he left off after playing only nine games in the 2020 calendar year? We’ve seen the drastic difference in Justin Schultz after he suffered a serious ankle injury that he still hasn’t rebounded from. Will last season be just a blip on the radar or will Dumoulin’s ankle injury have lasting effects?


Grade Brian Dumoulin’s 2019-20 season.

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    (111 votes)
  • 59%
    (219 votes)
  • 10%
    (39 votes)
  • 0%
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
371 votes total Vote Now