Yet, through all of the great moments he has had, Dumoulin credits his strong play to the holding memory of his worst transgression at the college level.
In BC’s 2009-10 season opener at Vermont, Dumoulin said he took a lazy route to the puck, lost the angle and allowed UVM freshman forward Chris McCarthy to chip the puck toward the middle of the ice and score on a breakaway. McCarthy’s goal gave the Catamounts a 3-1 lead in the second period of an eventual 4-1 victory, and Dumoulin had a hard time picking himself up after the defeat.
"The upperclassmen have been patient with me because I remember at the beginning of the year, a couple bounces didn’t go my way," Dumoulin said. "It helped me build as a player and [as] a person off the ice. That was a turning point where I realized I had to focus more and play a lot smarter."
Dumoulin’s talent was immediately evident, but it took time for him to become a consistent force. He is an excellent passer and is always reliable when trying to clear the zone, and that has helped him accumulate 18 assists this season.
"He’s great with the puck," said BC goalie John Muse, who will start on Thursday night against Miami. "He’s really smart as well. When he gets the puck in our zone, it’s an easy pass to break out of the zone. That’s what we harp on, getting the puck out of the zone as quick as possible with the easy pass, nothing fancy, just get it up to the wings and let them get it out."
Dumoulin’s most impressive stat, though, is in the plus-minus column. The freshman leads Hockey East with a plus-36 rating, which is extraordinarily high for the college game. He is a plus-12 in six postseason games, and he is a plus-21 in the Eagles’ last 10 contests. Dumoulin, who was selected to the Hockey East Rookie Team, has registered a positive rating in 23 of the Eagles’ 40 games this season, and he has only been on the negative side six times (he was a minus-one five times and a minus-two once).
Dumoulin has also been a plus-3 eight times, including in five of BC’s last eight games, and Dumoulin has played 14 consecutive games without a minus rating. Sometimes, a plus-minus rating can be skewed, fluky or overrated, but in Dumoulin’s case, there is just too much evidence to write off those statistics.
"He’s been great since he stepped on campus," Muse said. "He’s one of those kids we talk about, a great character in the locker room, everybody gets along with him. His plus-minus shows he’s out there for a lot of goals, but not many against. That’s a help for us. It’s great to come and work with him every day."