While the Blue Jackets have closed the book on 2016-17 and are looking ahead to an important summer, a few of their prospects are helping to lead their teams deeper into the playoffs.
At the forefront is Pierre-Luc Dubois, the club’s first pick at No. 3 overall in the 2016 NHL Draft. Dubois has had a weird year, shifting between wing and center and facing an adjustment period after being traded mid-season.
He has since settled in with his new club, Blainville-Broisbriand, and is pumping in offense on a nightly basis for the Armada, who are looking to eliminate the Charlottetown Islanders and get one step closer to a MasterCard Memorial Cup berth.
Dubois had three assists in a Game 3 win on Tuesday night, giving the Armada a 2-1 series lead heading into Wednesday’s Game 4. Those helpers gave him 11 so far in the playoffs, vaulting him to fourth among all QMJHL players in the tournament and he’s only gotten better as things go along. He added two goals last night in a Game 4 win.
That’s great news for Blue Jackets fans, who are looking for Dubois to make the jump to the NHL next season and be a difference-maker.
For now, though, Dubois and Blainsville have their hands full with the Islanders, who have given them a tough battle.
Dubois scored the opening goal and closing goal for the Armada in Game 4 last night and his club took a commanding 3-1 series lead, looking to advance to the President Cup Finals and face the winner of Saint John and Chicoutimi.
WILD, WILD WEST
In the Western Hockey League, two Blue Jackets prospects are facing off in a semifinal of their own. The winner of a thrilling series between the Seattle Thunderbirds (Keegan Kolesar) and Kelowna Rockets (Calvin Thurkauf) will move on to the finals with its own chance to get to the Memorial Cup.
On Tuesday night, Kolesar and Thurkauf were responsible for the only offense – and boy, was it dramatic. Kolesar, who has had a tremendous playoff run and is closing in on 10 goals already, opened the scoring for Seattle and they held that late deep into regulation.
#CBJ prospects last night, In QMJHL: Dubois w/ 3A (5-4 win). In WHL: Kolesar (2G) & Thurkauf (G) scored all 3 goals in 2-1 Seattle win.— CBJ Public Relations (@BlueJacketsPR) April 26, 2017
Thurkauf (who had seven playoff goals of his own) tied the game with 6:07 remaining, and just as the game seemed destined for overtime, Kolesar scored the game-winner with 20 seconds left in regulation.
The two teams met for Game 4 late last night on the west coast, with Seattle holding a 2-1 edge in the series.