r864489 600x400 3 2 - Replay Madness

The Los Angeles Kings acquired Pierre-Luc Dubois from the Winnipeg Jets in a blockbuster trade Tuesday.

In return for Dubois, the Jets received forwards Alex Iafallo, Rasmus Kupari and Gabriel Vilardi, and a 2024 second-round draft choice.

Dubois also agreed to terms on an eight-year extension with the Kings, with an annual average value of $8.5 million.

“Pierre-Luc Dubois is an elite two-way center with a unique skillset, and we’re excited to have him join the organization and commit to us long-term,” Kings general manager and executive vice president Rob Blake said in a statement. “Over the last few seasons, he has proven the ability to contribute to all facets of the game and we are thrilled to be able to add a player of this caliber into our lineup.”

Dubois, 25, was a pending restricted free agent and was not expected to re-sign with Winnipeg after reportedly requesting a trade earlier this month. That left the Jets to either find a suitable partner for him or likely enter arbitration and arrive on another one-year deal similar to the single-season pact Dubois agreed to a year ago as a restricted free agent.

Dubois makes the Kings immediately better. He is a top-six center who can drive offense and contribute across special teams. Dubois is coming off a career-best season with 63 points in 73 games and two years ago hit a career-high 28 goals.

Winnipeg was able to restock its group up front with the package headlined by two skaters — Vilardi and Iafallo — who played key roles in Los Angeles’ lineup in 2022-23.

Vilardi, 23, is a strong defensive forward who had a breakout season for the Kings, posting career highs in goals (23) and points (41). At 6-foot-3, Vilardi wields a similar size to Dubois and could play a similar power-forward-type game.

Iafallo, 29, tallied 14 goals and 36 points in 59 games last season. A defensive-minded winger who can kill penalties — he averages nearly two minutes per game shorthanded — Iafallo has two years remaining on his deal at $4 million a year.

Kupari, 23, is a center prospect who was Los Angeles’ first-round draft choice (20th overall) in 2018. He played a career-high 66 NHL games last season, with three goals and 15 points.

That trio, along with the high draft selection, is an excellent haul for Winnipeg given the circumstances and Dubois’ disinterest in staying with the Jets long-term. This is the second time Dubois has been moved in his young career, both times at his own behest. Dubois asked the Columbus Blue Jackets — who drafted him third overall in 2016 — for a trade before being shipped off to Winnipeg in 2020.

And Dubois will get his return to Winnipeg out of the way early this season. Los Angeles will visit the Jets just three games in, on Oct. 14.

Source link

Kings acquire Pierre-Luc Dubois from Jets, reach terms on extension