Dumont and Marha Offer Glimpse of Future for Hawks

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Byline: Tim Sassone Daily Herald Sports Writer

While it's unfair to label J.P. Dumont the future of the Blackhawks, the 20-year-old left winger certainly figures to be a big part of it.

Dumont is one of the gems in a Hawks' farm system that has taken its share of hits lately for its number of misses over the last decade.

Dumont was recalled Monday from Portland (Maine) of the American League along with center Josef Marha because of Nelson Emerson's season-ending shoulder injury and Doug Gilmour's uncertain status due to a back problem.

Dumont and Marha are two of the Hawks' top four prospects. The top two are both still in juniors - Ottawa center Mark Bell, drafted eighth overall last June, and Kamloops left winger Kyle Calder.

Bell and Calder won't be in Chicago until next season, if then, but Dumont and Marha are here now and expected to be in the lineup Saturday at San Jose.

"I said I didn't want them here yet, but now that we've got some injuries we don't have a choice," said general manager Bob Murray. "This wasn't going to be our game plan, but they're here so let's see what they can do."

Dumont has been up twice before this season, going scoreless in seven games when he didn't get much quality ice time from former coach Dirk Graham.

That will change under new coach Lorne Molleken, who plans to turn Dumont loose. This is a kid, after all, who has scored a ton of goals at every level.

In his last three seasons in junior hockey, Dumont had 57, 44 and 48 goals. He broke Mario Lemieux's Quebec League playoff record last spring when he scored 31 goals in 19 games.

This season at Portland in the tough AHL, Dumont had 32 goals in 50 games. He actually scored 32 goals in 38 games after going scoreless in his first 12.

"Having coached in the AHL, scoring 32 goals in that league is a feat," said Molleken.

"Last time he was up here he was too worried about the defensive aspects and his strength is scoring goals. …