Sometimes when you think about the roller coaster of a season, the highs and lows, it really does feel like the Blues are the masters of drama. There are few constants but one of them being just how fun its been watching Vince Dunn play this season. This doesn’t mean he’s the “perfect player”, no one is but when you look up and down the lineup there are few things to complain about when it comes to Dunn.
I’ve brought up the 21 year old to a number of people asking what they love about the defenseman and the word that often comes up is “dynamic”. Sure it todays game that term is a tad overused but at the same time it describes Dunn pretty well, he is dynamic on the ice. Strong skating, stretch passes, bomb of a shot from the blue line.. there’s not much to critique. On occasion Dunn does get caught out of position but at the same time management isn’t too worried about it, averaging 16:30 of ice time per game. He seems to learn from those mistakes and adjusts the issue which is key. To progress on the fly is so important for young players.
It’s been said a number of times on The Note Lives On and I’ll repeat it here, point totals don’t tell the whole story. This is also the case when it comes to Dunn, with four goals on the year and ten assists. Having played 53 games this year and counting, you have to put him in the same grouping as Joel Edmundson and Colton Parayko in terms of having a breakout rookie year in the NHL. The Blues don’t need Dunn to save the club, they need him to contribute and grow into his game that much more. This is a very exciting time for the Blues in terms of their youth system and Dunn is near the top of that pile.
You want more numbers to prove to you that the 2015 second draft pick is earning his ice time? For one Dunn has 99 shots on net with a total of 197 shot attempts. He’s on pace for a few hundred shot attempts by the end of the year and while not everyone of those will hit the net, just throwing the puck in the area of the net can cause chaos which can lead to goals. With 35 blocks credited to his name he’s not afraid to take one for the team, on ice partner Robert Bortuzzo has the slight edge in that category with 83 but I think most people would like to see him to take the lead on that aspect of the game.
Looking at the future, the possibilities for Dunn are endless, we haven’t seem him come close to his ceiling in terms of potential. As the trade talks continue to grow heading into the trade deadline with the likes of Jordan Schmaltz, Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, and Robby Fabbri being mentioned in the “rumors”. I’m not too sure you’ll see Dunn leaving the Note anytime soon.