Jets Off-Season Player Profile: Pierre-Luc Dubois Fails to Play Up to High Expectations

By Goose
2 years ago
Shortly after the 2020-21 campaign open, @Pierre-Luc Dubois and a 2022 third-round pick were traded to the Winnipeg Jets from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for @Patrik Laine and @Jack Roslovic.
At the time, there was plenty of optimism about Dubois joining this already extremely deep forward group, but unfortunately, the 23-year-old endured a very rough regular season in Winnipeg that worsened when the playoffs began.
Let’s take a look at what went wrong and right for Dubois during the 2020-21 season:

What Went Right

Let’s start off with the positives for Dubois. There aren’t a lot of things that went right for him this past season. One of the positive things about his performance was his playmaking ability, if you remove his time with Columbus, Dubois averaged 1.2 assists per 60 minutes in 2020-21, which is an assist once every four games – assuming he plays about 15 minutes per contest.
The left-hander’s ability to score goals also ranked just below where they were last season. In 2019-20, his goals per 60 minutes sat at 0.9. This past season, it dropped to only 0.8 goals per 60 minutes. That’s fine stat for anyone and if your goals per 60 minutes only decreased by 0.1 points you can’t be that disappointed.
The one thing that’s so underrated about Dubois’ game is the defensive improvements he made under the Jets’ coaching staff. If you look at his giveaways, the youngster committed 46 turnovers through 70 games in 2019-20. Then this past season, he only recorded 10 giveaways in 41 games – that speaks volumes to both his work ethic and Winnipeg’s coaching members.

What Went Wrong

Before we get into what went wrong, I think that Dubois deserves a bit of an excuse for his poor season. Moving to a new city after having a boss like John Tortorella would understandably mess with your mind. Then you move to Winnipeg in the middle of winter during the COVID-19 pandemic and are forced to quarantine for 14 days – that’s not easy to do.
You can’t see your friends, family and the only work you can do is over Zoom. It had to be incredibly lonely and it didn’t help that he didn’t play up to his expectations either. I think the first thing that went wrong for Dubois was setting the bar way too high for him during one of the most unusual seasons in league history.
His best season was in 2018-19, where he scored 61 points in 82 games, which converts to 0.74 points per game. Overall this past season, including his five games with the Blue Jackets, he only scored 21 points in 46 games, giving him a 0.45 points per game rate.
One of the things I was really hoping to see from Dubois was his impressive level of physicality and that was nowhere to be seen. His best season for hits was his rookie season, where he averaged 1.54 hits per game. In 2020-21, his hits per game dropped to 1.39, which isn’t horrible especially compared to the rest of his teammates. But I can’t recall any of Dubois hits changing the outcome of a game.
Dubois averaged a career-low 15:02 minutes of ice time a night this past season, but because of his disappointing performance, he wasn’t able to earn additional playing time throughout the regular season.

What to Expect From Dubois in 2021-22?

Next season, a huge part of the Jets’ success depends on Dubois. Unless the front office acquires another pure goal scorer, @Nikolaj Ehlers will require some help to generate consistent offense on the second line, which is where the Quebec native is expected to be positioned.
That being said, I fully expect Dubois to return to his regular form and will be a powerhouse for this team in 2021-22. At minimum, the former first-round pick should be able to produce at least 20 goals, 65 points and 95 hits.
All stats are from HockeyReference.com unless otherwise stated.

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