The Columbus Blue Jackets are in a position very few people expected them to be in at this time. The Jackets sit in the second wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference with a 33-22-15 record in seventy games played, despite losing Matt Duchene (Nashville), Ryan Dzingel (Carolina), Artemi Panarin (New York Rangers), and Sergei Bobrovsky (Florida) last offseason in free agency.
A large part of the Blue Jackets 2019-20 success is the play of 2016 3rd overall pick Pierre-Luc Dubois, who is set to become a restricted free agent once the 2019-20 NHL season finally concludes. In seventy games for the Blue Jackets this season, Dubois scored eighteen goals and registered thirty-one assists for forty-nine points. Dubois’ forty-nine points were the highest on the team this season, with Gustav Nyquist’s forty-two being the second best. Dubois’ eighteen goals were also three off of the team lead this season behind Oliver Bjorkstrand’s twenty-one, and Zach Werenski’s twenty, and his thirty-one assists led the team as well in 2019-20. Dubois also had one of the best penalty taken/drawn ratios on Columbus this season with a 19:24 ratio, and his twenty-four penalties drawn also led the team. However, his turnover +/- and regular +/- numbers were on the lower end, as he had a 46:27 giveaway/takeaway ratio (-19 turnover +/-) and a -2 regular +/- number.
AB wise, he registered a respectable -0.31 score, which was the thirteenth-highest score on Columbus this season. This was Pierre-Luc Dubois’ first career negative individual AB score, as he registered a +2.54 score in 2017-18, and a +2.5 score in 2018-19. These scores give him a solid career AB score of +1.58 in his three seasons of data.
We ran Dubois through our arbitration analyzer to project what a new contract would look like for him in 2020-2021, as the Blue Jackets have just about $20 million projected cap space this offseason. The Blue Jackets will also need to make decisions in goal this offseason, as the contracts of both rookie sensation Elvis Merzlikins and Jonas Korpisalo expire at the end of the season as well (read more about that in our article here). We determined that Pierre-Luc Dubois’ most comparable NHL contracts are those of Vegas’ William Karlsson ($5.9 million AAV), Vegas’ Jonathan Marchessault ($5 million AAV), and Detroit’s Dylan Larkin ($6.1 million AAV). With these projections, we think that Pierre-Luc Dubois should be paid somewhere in the range of $5.5- $6 million per season, which gives Columbus around $14-$15 million to spend on their goaltending tandem. Much more to come, as all hockey fans are anxiously waiting for the NHL to resume play.