Weight: 201 lbs
Team (League): Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League)
ISS rank: 8
CSS rank: A (no rankings released)
FC rank: 9
THN rank: NA
DTJ rank: 5
Current Statline for 2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 26G 35A 61P 65PIM, +22, 1.49 Points/Game
Another top forward prospect coming out of the QMJHL this year is Pierre-Luc Dubois, the forward playing on the top line of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
Dubois is a big, strong forward who plays a solid 200 foot game. He has many assets in his arsenal, but his biggest asset is his intelligence. He thinks the game and reads the ice so well. His skating is solid and he has a great set of hands. He plays the game with a lot of heart and a lot of grit. He is currently leading his team in points. This is not only due to his extreme skill, but also because his line-mates, Maxim Lazarev and Yevgeni Svechnikov missing games for the World Junior Championships (both represented Team Russia). Svechnikov, on the other hand was one of the last cuts for Team Canada.
Svechnikov is a big and smart player whose game I would describe as a scorer with power forward tendencies. His intelligence and ability not only in all 3 zones of the ice, but at all 3 positions at forward leave me extremely impressed. His passing is excellent, whether he wants to feather it or wire it to a teammate. He is able to create space for himself with efficient puck-handling, but also by passing to a teammate. His skating is excellent, and he's been improving his first step to the point of explosive. Dubois has great balance, and is very difficult to knock off the puck. This is mostly in part to his large stature, but also is aided by his impressive strength.
Dubois is a very complete player and contributes on the powerplay and the penalty kill. He has very good hands, especially in the tight areas of the ice. He just has such a combination of size, skating, skill, shooting, two-way play, vision, character, grit, and potential. I know that's quite a laundry list, but I am very, very high on Dubois. I've mentioned it earlier, but his versatility to play at any forward position (and excel at them) is a major asset. To me, he has all the "X-Factors" to potentially be an elite player in the NHL: skating, IQ, vision, willingness to adapt and improve. As the son of a coach, there is no question about Dubois' knowledge of the play. Additionally, Dubois is one of the youngest players in the draft class, and won't turn 18 until the first day of the draft in June (the day he will likely be taken).
A great playing style comparison for Dubois would be a Jamie Benn-type player. I would not be surprised to see Dubois in some kind of captaincy role if (and when) he makes it to the NHL. He definitely has top-line potential. I prefer him on the Left Wing, but can see him developing at any forward position necessary to specific team needs. At this point in my eyes, Dubois is the most promising 2016 eligible player from the QMJHL. I believe he can jump into the NHL right away, since he is already big and strong, and plays a pro-style game. His defensive play will not make him a liability at the NHL level if he wants to develop his elite-potential play there. I can see the argument for letting him stay in the QMJHL for another year, and usually tend to be more patient with prospects, despite how much skill and potential they may have.
From a Devils perspective, Dubois is yet another forward to keep a close eye on as June approaches. He is everything that the Devils will be looking for within the new system, and has incredible potential to be an elite player at the NHL level. He has potential to go within the first 5 selections in the draft, and I would be shocked if he fell out of the top-10. I am very interested in following the rest of Dubois' season in Cape Breton, and I hope he can continue to develop into the elite, two-way, character forward he has the potential to be. I hope you enjoyed my write-up of Pierre-Luc Dubois! If you have any feedback, suggestions, or players you’d like to see my write about, please let me know!
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Thanks for reading!