Pierre-Luc Dubois is a perfect fit for the Winnipeg Jets both now and in the future.
We are getting a blockbuster trade today with the Columbus Blue Jackets pulling the trigger on a huge deal that will send disgruntled star Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Winnipeg Jets.
Per Darren Dreger of TSN, a trade is now in the process of being completed that would see the Blue Jackets send Dubois to the Winnipeg Jets, with pure goalscorer Patrik Laine and forward Jack Roslovic going in the opposite direction to Columbus. Meanwhile, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic and TSN is reporting that the Blue Jackets will also send a Third-Round pick to the Jets and Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet has reported that Roslovic, who is currently an unsigned RFA, will sign a two-year deal with the Blue Jackets as part of this trade.
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Also, it has been reported by Frank Seravalli of TSN that the Winnipeg Jets are also retaining 26 percent of Laine’s $6,750,000 salary for this season to even out the cap hit and ensure that the Blue Jackets aren’t taking on any added salary this year, while the Third Round pick going to the Jets will be in 2022, per Aaron Portzline of The Athletic.
We mapped out here why a trade swapping one unhappy star for another would be complicated, and we’ll certainly get on to the Patrik Laine fit with the Columbus Blue Jackets shortly, but this is a home run of a deal for the Winnipeg Jets who may well have won this trade at first glance.
Granted, because of the border issues, Dubois will have to quarantine in Canada for 14 days so, as a result, will miss a minimum of seven games which is a lot in a shortened 56-game season. However, that is the only negative of this trade for the Jets.
Yes, they have given up two high-end assets in Laine and Roslovic but Laine requested a trade last year and, with his current contract up at the end of this season, wanted out and Roslovic also made it clear that he didn’t want to play for Winnipeg again, so General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has managed to cut bait with two unhappy assets while getting back a rising star in return.
And, make no doubt about it, Pierre-Luc Dubois is a rising star and will be one hell of a player for the Winnipeg Jets who understand the importance of building through the middle when constructing a winning roster.
Pierre-Luc Dubois is the perfect short and long-term fit for the Winnipeg Jets
First and foremost, Pierre-Luc Dubois is the rare blend of size and skill and is almost a carbon copy of Anaheim Ducks Captain Ryan Getzlaf in how he plays the game. Along with goaltenders, centers are a hugely important and invaluable commodity in the National Hockey League and it isn’t often that 22-year-old pivots boasting size, skill and a lot of power become available.
Drafted with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Dubois has developed nicely into a top-line center who can make huge plays in all three zones, pressure on the forecheck, battle hard in the dirty areas, provide a big net front presence and provide lots of offense.
In 239 career NHL games for the Blue Jackets, Dubois has 66 goals and 93 assists for 159 points with a career CF% of 51.5% and a career oZS% of 69.8%. He carved out a career-year in 2018-19 with 61 points (27 G, 34 A) in 82 games, while the center put up 18 goals and 31 assists for 49 points in 70 regular-season games last year.
Still only 22-years-old, Dubois is only going to develop further and get better and it is feasible to project that he could become a 70-80 point scorer in the NHL, while his defensive game will also become more polished under Winnipeg Jets Head Coach Paul Maurice.
This is such a huge win-win for the Jets because not only are they gaining a premier talent in Dubois, but they now boast tremendous strength up the middle. Dubois will provide a lethal one-two punch behind No. 1 center Mark Scheifele while veteran center Paul Stastny can anchor the third-line and the Jets also have Adam Lowry and Andrew Copp down the middle.
That is a lot of depth at center and, depending on what happens with Bryan Little‘s long-term health status coupled with Cole Perfetti, the No. 10 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the Jets will only get richer in that department too.
Pierre-Luc Dubois will anchor that second-line for Winnipeg and his unique blend of size, power, skill and killer instinct will make him a perfect fit for this Jets team, while he’s under contract through the 2021-22 season with a $5 million AAV. With his dad, Eric, the Assistant Coach of the Manitoba Moose, the Jets’ American Hockey League affiliate, it is likely that Winnipeg could sign Dubois to a long-term extension.
Overall, the Winnipeg Jets got rid of two players who did not want to play for the franchise while gaining a high-end center with huge upside in Pierre-Luc Dubois who should be an elite top-six center for this team for the foreseeable future.