Flyers’ rumors: Could a trade for Pierre-Luc Dubois be in the works?

NHL: DEC 23 Flyers at Blue Jackets
COLUMBUS, OH – DECEMBER 23: Pierre-Luc Dubois #18 of the Columbus Blue Jackets scoring the game winning goal during the game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Philadelphia Flyers at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on December 23, 2017. Columbus Blue Jackets won 2-1 in a shootout. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire)

The Columbus Blue Jackets have been in the limelight lately, but not for the right reasons. Their 2016 3rd overall pick, Pierre-Luc Dubois has reportedly requested a trade. these rumors first circulated about a month ago, but have resurfaced due to recent comments by Blue Jackets’ coach John Tortorella.

The Flyers, who have needed a goal scorer for years, are said to be in the running to win the PLD sweepstakes. But is it even feasible for both parties involved?

PLD’s career at a glance

Before getting into the logistics of this trade, it’s important to note how good this kid is.

Prior to the NHL, Dubois tore up Juniors. While a member of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, the youngster averaged nearly two points a game. He drew comparisons to Anze Kopitar, showcasing his skills as a versatile two-way forward. He earned himself the third overall pick in 2016 when he was selected by Columbus.

Since entering the league in 2017, the 22-year-old has accumulated 158 points in 236 games. He’s become the team’s number one center; truly working his way up among the top young forwards in the league. His 65 goals and 158 points since 2017 sit only behind Artemi Panarin for the Blue Jackets.

Another interesting stat is that PLD has accumulated 19 points in 26 playoff games. These playoff production is something that the Flyers have lacked in recent years.

Fit on the Flyers

There is no question that PLD would fit on the Flyers. Due to the Flyers’ depth at center, he could easily slide to the wing position. The 22-year-old could then use that to capitalize on his scoring ability, not forcing him to worry about defense as much. However, Dubois is a proven defensive minded forward, which could make him a good penalty killer. His 158 points since 2017 would also be 5th on the Flyers during that time span.

The Flyers have a ton of depth on the wings as well. They don’t necessarily need Dubois, but he would be a major upgrade no matter the way you look at it. With JvR’s lack of scoring production alongside Giroux and Voracek beginning to age, it’s a no brainer to bring youth to the team. Philadelphia is a team destined to be great for years, and making the team younger would only extend that trend.

Honestly though, the main reasoning this trade would make sense for the Flyers would be to get a younger replacement for JvR. The lack of scoring that JvR brings does not match his contract, and Dubois would pick up that slack perfectly. Dubois, though, would have to be willing to move to either wing.

Is this even possible?

This is a strange situation. PLD just signed a 2 year, $10 million contract in December, making it even weirder. There is no explanation as to why he wants out, and there isn’t any real reason why he would want to leave.

I really just don’t think the Flyers pull the trigger on this one. There also isn’t really much reason to. Chuck Fletcher has made it pretty clear through his lack of offseason moves that he trusts this roster, and they’ve proven him right so far through two games. JvR is also said to be a leader in that locker room, and Columbus wouldn’t trade for him straight up anyways.

For the record, though, even PLD’s head coach John Tortorella said on 97.1 The Fan’s Rothman and Ice in Columbus that he “wants out.” “(Dubois) hasn’t given a reason why he wants to leave…” Torts continued. If CBJ’s leverage in a trade wasn’t already depleted, Torts just brought the bar down lower.

The only way the Flyers made this move is if they can do it for almost nothing. JvR would have to be the focal point in the trade, and maybe throw a pick or two in there. They won’t give up on any of their 2019 or 2020 draft picks yet. They could *maybe* toss in one of Wade Allison/Nic Aube-Kubel/Elliot Desnoyers, but CBJ’s asking price could be way too high.

OBVIOUSLY, if the Flyers could get PLD for a couple of prospects or picks and JvR, then this is a must do. This just doesn’t seem realistic at all at this point. This move is beyond idealistic, so scratch it up as a no-go for the Flyers as of now.

Photo Credit: Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire