Hextall on Hockey: Expectations of Pierre-Luc Dubois

What are the expectations of Pierre-Luc Dubois?

Let me rephrase that – what are rational expectations for Pierre-Luc Dubois in his first game as a Winnipeg Jet?

Unlike a trade deadline deal, where a player grabs his gear and goes from his old team to his new team in less than 24 hours — which leads to a baptism by fire in a player’s debut — Dubois has had a much different timeline leading up to his first faceoff with his new team.

With a mandated 14-day quarantine, Dubois has had the time to learn the Jets’ systems.

Through video sessions with coaches, he’s had a unique opportunity to take in the Xs and Os.

Add in Dubois’s health, age and ability to have a few practices to get his game legs back and expecting a strong debut for Dubois isn’t a miscalculated mistake.

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Dubois will also receive support from the team.

Building pillars of trust early is a key for Paul Maurice. The Jets’ head coach will do his part to set Dubois up for success. He’ll protect him early – pay attention to where Maurice starts Dubois, who he plays with and against.

But in the end, Dubois’ debut depends on how he handles his emotions.

One might describe No. 13 as ramped up and ready to go entering his first game as a Jet, which leaves one waiting to see if the 22-year-old can play within himself, not try to prove everything in one shift to his new team and fanbase.

The reality is it will take a little time for Dubois to be truly comfortable in his new systems and his new sweater – which means Dubois’s “real” debut is a handful of games away.

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