With training camp just around the corner, we are previewing each player on the LA Kings roster. Up next: Pierre-Luc Dubois!

Pierre-Luc Dubois

Birthdate: June 24, 1998

Birthplace: Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec, Canada

Height: 6’4

Weight: 214 lbs

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

Draft: 1st round, 3rd overall, 2016 NHL Entry Draft

2022-2023 season

Pierre-Luc Dubois, or as some people call him “PLD”, entered the final year of his contract and reportedly made it known to the Winnipeg Jets that he wouldn’t sign long-term. In 73 games, Dubois recorded a career-high 63 points (27 G -36 A), his second straight 60-point season. That’s not bad, but when you dive deeper into those numbers, 48 of those points came in his first 41 games, then cooled off in his last 32 games by just scoring 15 points. Some of that can be due to injury, the Jets playing poorly as a team, or both. In five playoff games, Dubois recorded four points as the Jets lost in five games to the eventual champion, Vegas Golden Knights.

2023-2024 outlook

On June 27th, the LA Kings acquired Dubois in a sign-and-trade with the Jets in exchange for Gabriel Vilardi, Alex Iafallo, Rasmus Kupari, and a second-round pick in 2024. The trade means the Kings have found their second-line center to play alongside Kevin Fiala and it gives Quinton Byfield time to continue developing. With this trade, the Kings will now boost a center group that consists of Anze Kopitar, Dubois, Phillip Danault, and Blake Lizotte. The trade was met with a mixed reaction among Kings fans given Dubois’ recent history of requesting trades, his infamous last shift in Columbus, him being a locker room cancer or the need for a netminder. All of those reactions are fair. However, big centers that are gifted offensively and add snarl to the lineup are hard to come by. With the goalie market very thin, you can understand why general manager Rob Blake made the trade.

While Dubois’ faceoff percentage (45.4%) and defensive game aren’t great, he’ll have Kopitar and Danault to learn from and improve. Offensively, he brings plenty to the table. He’s scored 20 or more goals four times in his career, drives play at 5-on-5 and is a threat on the power play. Last season, his 18 primary assists would’ve been good enough for 5th on the Kings, and his 23 power play points would’ve been good enough for 4th. Playing second-line center alongside Fiala and possibly on the first power-play unit as the front net or bumper man, I expect those numbers to go up. Having depth down the middle now, head coach Todd McLellan can use Dubois in offensive zone scenarios while using Danault as the third-line center for defensive purposes.

When listening to Dubois’ introductory press conference, he sounds like a player who wants to be in LA and cares about winning. Now it’s time to put in the work and change the narrative that surrounds him.

Featured image credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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