The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed the third overall draft pick at the 2016 NHL draft, Pierre-Luc Dubois, to a three-year, entry-level contract, according to TNS’s Darren Dreger.
The signing isn’t surprising, particularly given how much the Blue Jackets appear to believe in Dubois. They selected him third overall despite the fact that nearly every draft board out there had Jesse Puljujarvi as the unquestioned third overall pick. With that, they managed to gift the highly touted Puljujarvi to the Edmonton Oilers.
The 18-year-old Dubois will look to make the team out of camp. A strong player who moved to center with great success during the season last year, he scored 42 goals and 99 points in 62 games for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL.
He’s most likely to spend the season in the Q, possibly grabbing a few NHL games to start the season, in order to continue developing.
The Blue Jackets aren’t likely to go silent with free agency approaching on Friday. The team has just $48,858 remaining in cap space after the contract extension for defenseman Seth Jones, per General Fanager. That makes James Mirtle’s report that the Blue Jackets are “desperate” to shed salary seem wildly unsurprising.