The Pierre-Luc Dubois trade has been completed. Nearly a month after it was originally reported that the 3rd overall pick in the 2016 draft would be moved to another QMJHL team, the details of the deal have finally been formalized, and on the league trade deadline no less. Dubois will move from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, whom he has played for in parts of three seasons, to the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. In exchange, Cape Breton will receive 16-year-old forward Mathias Laferrière and the Armada’s first round draft pick in 2017 and second round pick in 2018.
The Columbus Blue Jackets prospect is quite a haul for Blainville-Boisbriand. Though Dubois had a less-than-stellar World Junior experience with Team Canada and has yet to find his rhythm since returning to juniors, he remains one of the top young two-way forwards in Canadian juniors. Dubois racked up a whopping 99 points in just 62 games with the Screaming Eagles last season, and his physical style earned him 112 penalty minutes as well. He’ll now bring that unique combination of high-end skill and grit to an Armada team that currently sits in second in the QMJHL’s West Division, just two points behind the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
- Another QMJHL team getting much better on deadline day is the Maritime Division-leading Saint John Sea Dogs, who have acquired 2016 first-round forward Julien Gauthier. Gauthier comes over from the Val-d’Or Foreurs, who sit in last place in the West Division, at the price of a third-round pick in 2017, two second-round picks in 2018 and a first rounder in 2019, as well as prospect Nathan Cyr-Trottier. It’s a steep price for the Sea Dogs, but well worth it for one of the junior league’s best power forwards. The 21st overall pick by the Carolina Hurricanes this June, Gauthier is back on his better than a point-per-game pace this year that he finished the season with in each of his first two campaigns with Val-d’Or. He’s also fresh off of a five-goal effort for Team Canada at the World Juniors. Joining fellow top prospects Thomas Chabot, Jakub Zboril, and Matheiu Joseph, Gauthier completes a formidable roster for Saint John, now likely the favorite to win the QMJHL this season.
- Over in Western Canada, the WHL is approaching their own Trade Deadline on Tuesday and the Prince George Cougars have mad a major move. Headed to the B.C. Division leaders is 2017 top-ten hopeful Nikita Popugaev. The 6’6″ scorer already has 51 points in 40 games for the Moose Jaw Warriors in his second major junior season, good enough for a place in the top ten in scoring. The move is somewhat of a surprise as the Warriors sit in second place in the East Division, with just three points less than the Cougars on the season. However, Moose Jaw is getting their fair share in return, as Prince George sends 18-year-old forward Yan Khomenko, 17-year-old forward Justin Almeida, a second-round pick in the 2018 Draft and a fifth-round pick in the 2017 Draft back in return.