For a season that wasn’t supposed to have a lot of notable trade activity, there was certainly a big trade made on Saturday with the Jets acquiring center Pierre-Luc Dubois and a 2022 third-round pick from the Blue Jackets in exchange for wingers Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic with the latter soon agreeing to a two-year, $3.8MM bridge deal.
It’s a swap of two star players that were looking for a change of scenery. The deal allows both teams to acquire a top talent in return but given their disenchantment where they were, it’s also fair to wonder if this will be the ideal fit for everyone involved. Both Laine and Dubois have a new home but are they in a more preferable spot than they were before?
For Winnipeg, adding Dubois should put to an end to GM Kevin Cheveldayoff’s attempts to add another impact center, a process that started with the acquisition of Paul Stastny in 2018, was continued a year later with Kevin Hayes before ultimately re-acquiring Stastny this offseason. With Bryan Little’s playing future in serious jeopardy and Stastny’s contract up, they needed a longer-term solution. Dubois can be that player although he’ll move from a top-line role down to the second line with Mark Scheifele ahead of him on the depth chart.
Meanwhile, Columbus gets one of the top goal-scorers in the league in Laine and a young roster player in Roslovic, one who was drafted as a center and will presumably get an opportunity to play down the middle. However, they lose a year of team control moving from Dubois to Laine, who is owed a $7.5MM qualifying offer this summer while being eligible for salary arbitration. While Winnipeg retained on his salary in the deal to get his price tag nearly identical to Dubois, that certainly won’t be the case for long.
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