Keeping up with Dubois and other prospect notes
May 8, 2017, 12:00 PM ET [1 Comments]
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Pierre-Luc Dubois has had one up and down season. From being the third overall pick, to being one of the last cuts from Blue Jackets camp, to struggling in the QMJHL, Dubois has seen it all. He made Canada’s World Junior team and was traded in the ‘Q’ from Cape Breton to Blainville-Boisbriand. With Blainville-Boisbriand Dubois has been very successful and finds himself in the QMJHL finals.
Dubois has been quite good in the playoffs. He is second on his team in playoff scoring with 21 points and sits third in the QMJHL. His points per game rate of 1.24 is low and is tied for 16th in the playoffs. This is however an improvement from his overall season line which saw him score 55 points in 48 games for a 1.15 ppg rate. If you exclude his time in Cape Breton his stats looks even better with 58 points in 45 games and a 1.29 ppg. No matter how you slice it this still is a significant drop from the 1.60 ppg he had last season.
Dubois’ issues this season are very much the same he had when I wrote about him in December, shots and shooting percentage. Take a look at his shot heat maps from the past two seasons, courtesy of Prospect-Stats.
In the first one you can see everything is very tight around the slot area. Very few shots are coming from bad angles and low danger areas. Looking at the second one and it’s clear to see why success has been harder to come by. Dubois shots are much more spread out and from a much farther distance than before. Dubois this season had 114 dangerous shots, averaging 2.40 per game. Last season he had 170 dangerous shots and averaged 2.74 per game. It’s not a huge drop per game, but over the course of the season if those extra dangerous shots are being replaced by low end shots, it’s again easy to see why Dubois shooting percentage fell from 17.8% to 12.7%.
It’s difficult to say why the shots have dropped like this, but it’s something Dubois is going to need to do to get back to being one of the very best prospects in the game. He's having some success in the playoffs which is great, but he is still a long ways from becoming an NHL player.
Dubois is not the only Blue Jackets prospect to be on a long playoff run. Keegan Kolesar of the Seattle Thunderbirds finds himself in the WHL finals, taking on the Regina Pats. Kolesar missed Game 1 of the series, serving a one game suspension. Penalties have a been a theme for Kolesar, he's a physical player but can take it too far at times, which really hurts his team. Kolesar has been a huge contributor in the playoffs with 23 points in 15 games. He leads his team in points and is second to Matt Barzal with a 1.53 points per game. Entering the season Kolesar wasn’t much of a prospect, but his play over the course of the season has put him on notice. He had 60 points in 54 games this season and with his strong playoffs he looks ready to make the jump to the AHL season.
Other prospect notes, Vladislav Gavrikov has signed a two year deal to remain in the KHL.
This isn’t a huge deal, he wasn’t ready for the NHL and did not have spot anyway. This will allow him to continue to develop, and also gives him a chance to play for his country at the Olympics.
Daniel Zaar has left the Cleveland Monsters to sign with the Malmo Redhawks.
This was not a surprising decision. Zaar has been decent in the AHL, but had yet to receive an NHL look and has been passed on the depth chart by players like Sonny Milano and Markus Hannikainen. This gives him an opportunity to return to his home country and a chance to get more ice time.