Dubé, 23, could make his NHL debut against the Lightning on Thursday after Nic Dowd sustained an upper-body injury in last night’s 6-2 win over the Devils. Born in Lyon, France, Dubé signed a two-year, entry-level contract with Washington when free agency opened last July. He went undrafted throughout his junior career with the QMJHL’s Québec Remparts, Chicoutimi Saguenéens and Shawinigan Cataractes.
The 5-foot-9 winger was a surprise breakout star with the AHL’s Laval Rocket last year, earning an early-season call-up from the ECHL and posting 32 points in 44 games in his first pro season. He’s carried that momentum into a strong campaign with Hershey, leading the AHL’s best team (39-9-2) and defending Calder Cup champions with 24 goals in 50 games.
Dubé becomes the third active French national on an NHL roster, joining Blue Jackets winger Alexandre Texier and Kraken center Pierre-Édouard Bellemare. He carries Canadian citizenship, having played in their junior circuit since 2014, but played for the local youth team in Lyon. He has represented France internationally at different levels of the U18 and U20 World Juniors.
However, there’s no guarantee that Dubé will draw into the lineup to replace Dowd. The Capitals were already carrying veteran Nicolas Aubé-Kubel as a 13th forward, and he remains an option to play Thursday. Neither player is a natural center, so Beck Malenstyn will likely shift to fill Dowd’s spot as the third-line pivot while head coach Spencer Carbery shuffles his bottom-six wingers.
Dubé’s ELC carries an $870K cap hit, which is of no concern to Washington with Nicklas Bäckström and his $9.2MM cap hit on LTIR for the rest of the season. He will be an RFA upon expiry in 2025.