GM Jarmo Kekalainen: "Pierre-Luc Dubois is Going to Come into This Year's Camp Challenging For a Spot."

By Sam Blazer on July 11, 2017 at 12:17 pm

NHL GMs don't normally reveal much to the media.

So when you got more than a tiny morsel of info, it becomes a surprising revelation.

Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen spoke to NHL Network about the team's offseason and he revealed more than a few bits of compelling info.

The Finnish GM was asked what else needed to be added to the team and a surprisingly candid response about the state of the team became available.

"We're always looking for different ways to improve this team," said Kekalainen. "I think generally, we scored enough goals last season as a team.

"We were a deep four-line team that scored a lot of goals from different lines. We were looking for that game-breaker, I think we got that in Artemi Panarin. But we also had to deduct a player like Brandon Saad to do that. So we're still kind of in that mode that we could add a little bit of an offensive punch into our team."

When asked about the center position, multiple players can fill the void but Kekalainen brought up former lottery pick Pierre-Luc Dubois as a player that can fill a role.

"We have Boone Jenner that can play center, we have Nick Foligno can play center and Pierre-Luc Dubois is going to come into this year's camp challenging for a spot on the team," he said.

"We'll have three good candidates that can fill in that hole there in our lineup."

All three of those players are going to bring a different type of game to the Blue Jackets. Jenner is a rough and tumble type of player, Dubois has some skill to go with his grit and Foligno has a finesse style to his game that the other two don't possess. 

The position looks to be Dubois' to lose as the other two have minimal experience at center while with the Blue Jackets. Even having his name included with two regular NHLers is a good sign for the young player.

Being the topic of conversation involving a general manager can be a bad sign. In this case, expectations are set and Dubois has a lot to live up to.


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