After being selected as the surprise third overall pick in the latest NHL Entry Draft, Pierre-Luc Dubois is trying to prove to everyone that he derserved to be picked above Jesse Puljujarvi and Matthew Tkachuk. In a piece by James O’Brien at NBCSports, Dubois is clear what his goal is this fall.
(The Blue Jackets) drafted me third in front of the guy everybody thought they were going to draft, but I think they made the right decision. I want to prove that to everybody.
For at least the first few years of his career, he’ll be compared to Puljujarvi constantly which is probably more unfair than anything. The Finnish winger has already been playing against men for parts of two seasons, while Dubois will head back for his final year of junior hockey (that is if he doesn’t surprise everyone to make the Blue Jackets out of camp). It may take him a while, but as GM Jarmo Kekalainen comments when talking about what will set Dubois apart, “I keep coming back to his character and hockey sense.”
- Team Canada has often found trouble pairing players with Sidney Crosby at international competitions, with many high level talents moving on and off of his wing throughout past tournaments. That said, head coach Mike Babcock may have found a group that he’ll stick with this time. As TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron look like the set wingers for the Team Canada captain. It’s a plan Babcock had way back in May, when he was first envisioning what his lineup might look like. The interesting part, is that Marchand is one of Team Canada’s only natural wingers, and Bergeron is highly regarded for his all-around ability and hockey IQ. Perhaps it’s centers that don’t find a home on Crosby’s wing, similar to the way Pittsburgh has never been able to consistently pair Crosby with Evgeni Malkin for any length of time.
- The top two picks of the 2015 NHL draft will be linked once again, as Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel will skate on a line in their second pre-tournament game against Europe tonight. The third musketeer will be Johnny Gaudreau, still unsigned as he’s entered his negotiation freeze during the tournament. With three of the strongest skaters in the NHL on the ice at once, team North America will surely be interesting to watch, the plan all along of the NHL and commissioner Gary Bettman when he introduced the slightly off-the-board format.