On Sunday morning, local media in Winnipeg got a chance to speak with the newest member of the Winnipeg Jets, Pierre-Luc Dubois, who just arrived to Manitoba Saturday evening following a trade from the Columbus Blue Jackets alongside a 2022 third round selection for Patrik Laine and the rights to former restricted free agent forward Jack Roslovic.
Dubois, 22, spoke candidly on how things didn’t work out in Ohio and his hopes and aspirations in moving to a new city – a team in which he says is loaded with talent and ready to strike.
“If you look at (Winnipeg’s) forward group, from the first line to the fourth line, there’s a lot of depth, and a lot of skill,” Dubois said. “Anywhere you play and whatever player that you’re playing with, whether you’re on the wing or at centre or whatever, you’re going to be surrounded with talented players. As a forward, that’s all you can ask for and it’s really exciting to know that I’m going to be a part of that soon.”
Having played his junior hockey within the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the former Cape Breton Screaming Eagle and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada suited up against current Jets teammate Nikolaj Ehlers. And he had much to say about No. 27.
“Honestly, he was probably the best junior player I played against,” he reflected. “He would skate in circles on the penalty kill and then go change. And in the NHL he still has that same speed and same hands and hockey sense. So to be able to play with him is a really exciting thought and I heard he’s a good person, too. I’m excited to meet him, and it’ll be fun to be able to play with him instead of against him.”
And according to Dubois, Ehlers isn’t the only player the 6-foot-3, 220-pound centreman is looking to skate alongside.
“I’m excited for this new chapter, this new opportunity with a new team, a new coaching staff, a new organization, new fans,” he said happily. “It’s really exciting. These past 24 hours have been really crazy, but the opportunity to come here and help this forward group, help the D, as the centre to help everybody out and learn from the coaching staff, from the players here – guys like Wheeler and Scheifele… How I look at it is that this could be an amazing opportunity to help an already really good team and to become a new and better player. Winnipeg will be a perfect fit.”
Interestingly enough, the city of Winnipeg is actually not brand new to Dubois, whose dad Eric serves as the defensive coach of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. And because of that, the younger Dubois has had a chance to spend time within Manitoba over the past few years.
“My parents used to go back to Montreal in the summer; that’s where I’d go and my sister, too,” Dubois said of life before COVID-19. “We’d go back there as a family. Now I think they’re staying in Winnipeg full-time. The first time I came here was after my World Junior, I had a week off so I came to Winnipeg to see my mom. And then every time we’d play the Jets I’d come home for dinner and my mom would cook for me. I was here in quarantine, obviously everything was closed but whether it was driving around the city or we bought bikes, me and my sister bought bikes and just went around, it seems really beautiful. I got familiar with De Luca’s that I’m really excited to go back to.”
Now settled into his new quarantine home, Dubois will have some time on his own to loosen up following a whirlwind of a past few days – something he is thoroughly looking forward to.