On Wednesday night NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reported that Winnipeg Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois
will be seeking free agency in 2024.
has informed the Winnipeg Jets that his current plan is to test unrestricted free agency when eligible in the summer of 2024," Friedman said. "Now the Jets have control of the process until then, and what we're also hearing though is that they wish to keep him and have him as a Jet for a long time to come."
It seems that the Jets could lose Mark Scheifele
and/or Blake Wheeler
. What's going on in Winnipeg? Dubois will more than likely file for arbitration and that would give the Jets the option to sign him for a one-year or two-year deal.
If the Jets choose to sign him for two years, that would make him an unrestricted free agent.
In any case, there would be two ideal landing spots for Dubois. The Los Angeles Kings could really use Dubois' talents. They lack goal scoring, only tallying 2.87 goals per game, placing them 20th in the league.
Last season Dubois had 28 goals, 32 assists. He had 11.9 goals-above-replacement according to evolvinghockey.com, He had 112 hits, which placed him second on the Jets' roster of forwards in that category.
Dubois took 233 shots and scored on 12 percent of them. He also knows how to be in the right spot at the right time. 21 of his 28 goals came from the hash marks, and around the crease. One could call him a hard nosed player. He stands 6'-3", 218 pounds. Good luck trying to move him out of the crease.
He would fit in nicely next to Anze Kopitar
and Adrian Kempe
. Then, on the powerplay, he would add more offensive firepower. He tallied 15 man-advantage scores, and is excellent getting rebounds.
Who might the Kings need to give up to get Dubois? It must start with a good prospect like Gabe Vilardi, or Alex Turcotte
. Even consider Rasmus Kupari
in that mix. A right-shot defenseman might be great too... except not Brandt Clarke
, whom the Kings covet.
Just imagine having both Dubois AND Quinton Byfield
for the next 10 years. The Kings, if given the chance, should jump at adding Dubois to their roster.
When it comes to the Arizona Coyotes, the assets that Dubois possesses are also very attractive for a team looking to build going forward. They have seven draft picks in the first two rounds of the 2022 NHL draft. Would a trade package of Lawson Crouse and a prospect, and/or pick be enough to get Dubois to the desert?
Dubois personifies what an NHL player should be for general manager Bill Armstrong, the construction project manager for the Arizona rebuild.
While they would lose Crouse, they wouldn't lose any size since the two players are pretty much the same size. What they would gain is a player with a better offensive upside. Dubois has averaged 0.66 career points to Crouse's 0.32.
Crouse is also a restricted free agent, but hasn't been re-signed yet. There have been trade rumors out there:
If the Coyotes are considering keeping Crouse for the rebuild, there is no real downside to having Dubois instead.
So, Bill Armstrong needs to put on his construction hat and get busy trading for a player who could definitely help the Coyotes for years to come.