LA Kings identified as potential suitor for Pierre-Luc Dubois

LA Kings (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /

The LA Kings were pegged as one of seven teams as an ideal fit for Pierre-Luc Dubois, but would a trade for the 22-year-old make sense?

When you’re a young team with financial flexibility and a lot of draft capital, every available proven commodity will naturally be an ideal fit for the organization. The LA Kings were one of seven teams pegged as good fits for the services for forward Pierre Luc-Dubois. The 22-year-old wants out of Columbus.

Despite requesting a trade, Dubois and Columbus inked a brand new two-year contract extension worth $5M AAV. Now that the financials are out of the way, the Blue Jackets’ 2016 third overall pick still prefers a change of scenery. The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun tabbed the LA Kings as an ideal fit, given they can provide Columbus something of value in return.

“Another team with a lot of young assets. Now they’re pretty deep at center in terms of prospects, but that just might be something that Columbus needs in return.”

Lebrun noted elsewhere that Dubois is a proven commodity versus the likes of the LA Kings centermen prospects in Quinton Byfield, Alex Turcotte, Gabe Vilardi, and Lias Andersson — to name a few.

As a rookie, Dubois played in all 82 games in the 17-18 season, scoring 20 goals and 48 points, including six goals and nine assists on the man advantage. He finished eighth in the Calder Trophy voting that season and built on a promising debut, scoring 27 goals and 61 points in 82 games the following year.

In the COVID-19 shortened season of 19-20, Dubois tallied 18 goals and 31 assists in 70 games. He’s primarily lined up at center on Columbus’ first line in his brief NHL career, but the 19-20 season saw Dubois play at both winger positions on all four lines. The Blue Jackets transitioned toward Boone Jenner getting the bulk of first-line centerman duties last season.

Obviously, Los Angeles would have to give up something to get something. And there could be a strong argument to make a trade for Patrik Laine — a natural winger — rather than Dubois, but the LA Kings would likely have to part with a couple of highly-touted centers from their prospect pool.

They could likely keep both Quinton Byfield and Alex Turcotte, but everything else would be on the table, including draft capital. It’s certainly an intriguing option to consider, but a premier defenseman probably makes more sense, given where the LA Kings are in their rebuild.

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It’s probably a safe bet the Kings takes one of the top defensive prospects in the 2021 NHL Draft, but don’t be surprised if general manager Rob Blake pulls the trigger on a trade for a big-game defense after the 2021 season when even more financials comes off the books.