Saturday, January 23, 2021

NHL Trade Review: Dubois to Winnipeg, Laine to Columbus

 

From Getty Images

       The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired forwards Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for forward Pierre-Luc Dubois and a 2022 third round pick. 26% of Laine's salary will be retained by the Jets. In my article yesterday, I predicted something very close to this, but I had defenseman Andrew Peeke going to Winnipeg as well. 

       The Dubois fiasco finally comes to an end, as another star leaves Columbus. The third overall pick in 2016, he became a top line center last year and dominated in the playoffs versus Toronto. But after butting heads with Head Coach John Tortorella following a contract dispute, he's gone. Laine is a dynamic scorer who was selected one spot ahead of Dubois in 2016. It is easy to imagine Laine falling into the same problem as Dubois did with "Torts". He had a great first game of the season, scoring two goals with an assist. However, an upper body injury has kept him out since then. In his missed games, Laine has done about as much as Dubois, who has given the Blue Jackets a lackadaisical effort, which caused him to be benched for the second and third periods two nights ago. By retaining some money, it evens out the salaries for the rest of this season between the two, at $5 million being exchanged. Dubois has one more year after 2020-21 on his contract, before being an RFA, while Laine will hit that after the season. Both players have been said to want to go to bigger markets, but instead got dealt to equally small market teams. At least for Dubois, his father, Eric, is a coach for the Manitoba Moose, the Jets' AHL team who plays at the same place as the NHL club. Roslovic wanted to leave the Jets, but I don't think he will want to leave his new team. Roslovic is one of the few Columbus natives in the league. Roslovic is also the most significant player who is still a restricted free agent. He has been training in Columbus during his holdout. Soon after this trade, he signed a two year deal with the Blue Jackets, with a cap hit of $1.9 million. He is young, turning 24 next week, and he is a former first rounder. While the Jackets get weaker at center here, Roslovic could center their third line, with Max Domi on the second, and Alex Texier centering Laine on the first line. We will see if Laine signs long-term with the Jackets in the offseason, and if he does, they are the favorites to win this deal. Columbus adds more offense here, but loses defense, something they'll be fine without in Tortorella's defensive system. Winnipeg needs defense, so I was surprised that they didn't get a defender back here. Dubois will center the second line, with Nikolaj Ehlers on his wing. Paul Stastny will either move to the wing, or the third line. 

         Dubois, 22, scored a goal in five games this year. In 2019-20, Dubois scored 18 goals with 31 assists for 49 points in 70 games, with 10 in 10 postseason games. In his NHL career, Dubois has scored 66 goals with 93 assists for 159 points in 239 games. 

         Laine, 22, scored 28 goals (which was actually a career low) with 35 assists (a career high) for 63 points in 68 games last year. In his NHL career, all in Winnipeg, Laine has scored 140 goals with 110 assists for 250 points in 306 games. 52 of those goals came on the man advantage. 

         Roslovic, 23, scored 12 goals with 17 assists for 29 points in 71 games for the Jets last year. He has 26 goals with 41 assists for 67 points in 180 career games. 

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