Dunne is latest St. Louis product to launch NHL career | Blues de Saint-Louis
He was signed by the Blue Jackets as an undrafted free agent in mid-March and was sent to their American Hockey League branch in Cleveland. He played well in 15 games, then was called up by Columbus and the NHL in mid-April.
“As all the kids say, it was a dream come true,” Dunne said. “You see all these guys growing up watching them play. And the next thing you know, you’re on the same ice as them. So that’s pretty cool.
Dunne, 22, made his NHL debut on April 15 against the Dallas Stars.
“I was just in shock,” Dunne said. “It only felt real after probably the first shift.”
He went on to play six games with the Blue Jackets, without a goal or assists, before the end of the 2020-21 season.
As such, his name was added to the “St. Louis to the NHL” wall display at the Centene Community Ice Center. It lists products from the St. Louis area that have played in the NHL.
“My sister sent me a picture the other day,” Dunne told Post-Dispatch earlier this month at the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich.
Dunne, a 6-4, 210-pound forward, led all players in the Under-21s, with three goals and four assists in four games. Columbus went 4-0-0 to win the five-team tournament. This gave Dunne a strong start to the 2021-22 season, with Wednesday’s game against the Blues at Nationwide Arena marking his second straight preseason game for the Blue Jackets.