According to @NHLRumorsDaily and Canadian news outlet RDS, the Rangers are talking with the Winnepeg jets about Pierre-Luc Dubois. The former 3rd overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft has reportedly told the Jets management that he wants to test the free-agent waters in 2024 (per Elliotte Freidman). Dubois is scheduled to be a restricted free agent this summer and has no deal for next season.
The Quebec native’s first six seasons in the league have been a roller coaster. After an excellent start to his career with the Blue Jackets, Dubois engineered a trade out of Columbus. Winnepeg sent the man selected one pick earlier in the 2016 draft, Patrik Laine, among many other moving pieces, in exchange for Dubois. After a disappointing first season in Winnepeg, Dubois found his game again, scoring 60 points in 82 games this season.
Despite the plethora of trades engineered at the March 21st trade deadline, Chris Drury still has a full cupboard of prospects and other trade assets to arrange a deal for the 24-year-old center.
Players who could be involved:
Nils Lundkvist – D
Zac Jones – D
Matthew Robertson – D
Vitali Kravstov – RW
Will Cuylle – LW
Brennan Othmann – LW
Kaapo Kakko – RW
With the young D core of Fox, Miller, Lindgren, and Schneider cementing their places in the lineup, the Rangers are expected to move at least one of their defensive prospects this summer. If a deal is struck, expect at least one of the trio of Lundkvist, Jones, and Robertson to be going back the other way.
Kaapo Kakko is also an RFA and hasn’t quite found his footing on Broadway yet. It wouldn’t be surprising if he were part of the deal.
It’s worth noting that these two franchises have swapped big-name players before. Kevin Hayes at the 2019 trade deadline only to use the same draft pick four months later to acquire Jacob Trouba. Pending UFA, Andrew Copp was acquired from Winnipeg this past deadline in a deal that ultimately cost the Rangers a 1st round pick in this year’s entry draft.
If there is truth to this story, expect something to be done before free agency begins on July 13th, when anyone can make an offer and try and sign Dubois (and Kaako).