New York Rangers looking at a trade for Pierre-Luc Dubois

The New York Rangers are possibly looking at a trade to address their future at second line center. Winnipeg Jets pending RFA Pierre-Luc Dubois is reportedly a target for GM Chris Drury according to Francois Gagnon of RDS.

“By the way, according to information obtained during the final, the New York Rangers would be more than interested in acquiring Pierre-Luc Dubois,” said Gagnon in a translated tweet. “Ongoing negotiations with the Jets on the parameters of a transaction. It’s not done, but Chris Drury is very interested.”

Dubois, 24, registered 28 goals and 60 points in 81 games this past season. He’s wrapping up a two-year deal with an AAV of $5M.

New York Rangers interested in Pierre-Luc Dubois

Pierre-Luc Dubois is a pending RFA this summer and is eligible to become a UFA in two more seasons. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, who reported last week that Dubois informed the Winnipeg Jets of his plans to reach unrestricted free agency in 2024.

“Pierre-Luc Dubois has informed the Winnipeg Jets that his current plan is to test unrestricted free agency when eligible in the summer of 2024,” Friedman said. “Now the Jets have control of the process until then, and what we’re also hearing though is that they wish to keep him and have him as a Jet for a long time to come.”

Sportsnet

The Rangers interest in Dubois is not new. When he was on the block before Columbus traded him to Winnipeg in January of 2021, Forever Blueshirts was made aware that the prior regime made several calls to try and acquire him. It should be noted that Drury was Assistant GM at that time.

They weren’t alone as 12 teams reportedly inquired. Those teams included Anaheim, Minnesota, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary, Ottawa, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Detroit, Washington and Arizona. 

With the Rangers looking for a second line center for around $6M or less, Dubois may present a more realistic fit than either UFAs Ryan Strome or Andrew Copp.

What will it cost the New York Rangers

pierre-luc dubois rangers
Mar 6, 2022; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois (80) skates around New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) during the second period at Canada Life Centre. Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In truth, what is there not to like about a 6-3, 218 lb center that is only 24 years-old? He’s a former 3rd overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft and has 239 career points in 361 games. All that while playing for the struggling Blue Jackets and Jets.

Those stats are going to have a lot of teams looking to trade for him, so the Rangers would need to give up a considerable package of young players back.

The Rangers have a pending RFA of their own in Kaapo Kakko they need to sign, he could easily be part of the package along with another prospect like Nils Lundkvist in order to get a deal done.

One major concern is the rumor that Dubois may have his heart set on playing for his hometown team, the Montreal Canadiens. If being traded to the Rangers still doesn’t change his mind about becoming a UFA in two-years, Drury can’t give up anything more than Kakko and Lundkvist.

Is there a way to keep Kakko in the deal? Possibly, if Filip Chytil is of interest. That would mean Barclay Goodrow is the new third-line center, which makes re-singing Tyler Motte even more important.

Another possibility is trading Brennan Othmann along with Lundkvist. However, with the season Othmann just had, I’d look to keep him.

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