In the past couple of days, there has been chatter around the current contract situation of Columbus Blue Jackets centerman Pierre-Luc Dubois, who hits (restricted) free agency this upcoming offseason. It is easy to see that Dubois has both talent and age on his side, along with a good bill of health.
This, combined with Dubois heavily outperforming his rookie contract, could very well lead to a healthy increase in his pay come renegotiations.
Evolving Hockey recently posted a chart of players who are coming up on free agency, Dubois being one of them. This chart stated whether or not the player would move elsewhere or re-sign with their current team along with a projected salary.
Unsurprisingly, Dubois slotted into the re-signing column and was projected to get a bump from his current $891,166 to a rather respectable $7.32-million per season.
ICYMI https://t.co/psZlCEsZXY— Evolving-Hockey (@EvolvingHockey) March 17, 2020
Hypothetically speaking, this salary would put him in line with other centers like Ryan O'Reilly ($7.5-million), David Krejci ($7.25-million), and Kevin Hayes ($7.14-million). More than respectable players to be listed among, and you could quite easily make the argument that Dubois has the biggest upside of all four.
When comparing him to O'Reilly, you may not get as much offensive upside, but Dubois fares quite favorably in possession metrics in comparison. When looking at Krejci, Dubois is arguably better offensively at 22 than the former was at his prime, and the possession metrics are quite comparable. As for Hayes, Dubois beats him out in both offensive production and possession metrics.
When you take into account that this is for a 22-year-old in comparison to two players arguably at their peak in O'Reilly and Hayes and one on the tail end of it in Krejci, it becomes ever more apparent that this contract projection by Evolving Hockey isn't just a safe bet, but also a good price to lock down a young, talented, and big-bodied centerman that could easily become a franchise name.
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