No Winnipeg Jet needed a strong start to the 2021-22 season more desperately than Pierre-Luc Dubois.
He’s gotten off to just that through his first five games.
Dubois Finally Performing as Advertised
Dubois is performing with confidence, elan, and enthusiasm — in short, he’s finally performing as advertised.
The 2016 third-overall pick’s play-driving abilities and nose for the net have been on full display through his first handful of contests this campaign. He’s already potted four goals and has added two helpers for six total points. Both his goal and point totals are second on the team to only Kyle Connor.
He has scored in four straight games and already has half the goals in just five games as he did last season in 41.
After a quiet season opener in Anaheim against the Ducks, Dubois has been one of the Jets’ most notable and consistent performers. This Dubois is the player the Jets thought they were getting when they traded Patrik Laine to the Columbus Blue Jackets for him in January — a high-octane powerforward with strength and skill in spades in all three zones.
Dubois Leaving Subpar Season Behind
With a fresh start and more familiarity with the Jets’ systems and personnel, Dubois’ play is a night-and-day difference from his play a season ago.
After coming over from the Blue Jackets, Dubois had some flashes of brilliance, but was more often than not invisible. He never seemed comfortable or confident, and while he recorded eight goals and 12 assists, all 20 of his points came in just 13 games. He was also a minus-6 and finished the season on a 24-game goalless streak.
Dubois cast the blame for his subpar play squarely at his own feet after the Jets were swept in the second round by the Montreal Canadiens. In that series, he was given a huge opportunity to step up when Mark Scheifele was suspended four games for charging Jake Evans in Game 1, but whiffed hard.
Dubois Stepping Up in Scheifele and Wheeler’s Stead
Unlike when he had zero points in the Jets’ three playoff games sans Scheifele, Dubois is picking up the offensive slack while key offensive cogs are on the shelf.