ANALYSIS: Best player in blockbuster Dubois trade might be heading to Winnipeg

680 CJOB hockey analyst John Shannon breaks down the Jets-Kings blockbuster trade and look at who the next player to leave WInnipeg could be.

Paul Edmonds Jets Report

When it comes to trades in the National Hockey League, it seems that there always has to be a winner, and the belief is that usually the team that receives the best player in the deal won the trade.

In the case of Tuesday’s blockbuster exchange involving Pierre-Luc Dubois moving from the Jets to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for three players and a second-round draft pick, it could be argued the best player in the transaction isn’t necessarily heading to California.

View Link »

Sure, Dubois is a solid acquisition for the Kings and will complement Anze Kopitar and Phillip Danault down the middle very nicely in Tinseltown, but the haul the Jets received in exchange for the disgruntled forward is impressive, if not shocking.

And that’s especially notable when it comes to the centrepiece of the trade for Winnipeg, forward Gabriel Vilardi, who will likely centre the Jets’ second line, play on their first power play, and provide a conscious 200-foot game that too often has been devoid from the team’s top players at the middle-ice position.

In other words, Vilardi might not have the same name recognition as Dubois, but when you compare the two players and some of their numbers, the 23-year-old Ontario product is no drop-off in talent.

In 63 games last season, Vilardi scored 23 goals — only four fewer than Dubois in 10 fewer games. He took far fewer penalties while still playing aggressively and scored six game-winning goals to Dubois’ one — all of which means, given more opportunity with Winnipeg, the growth ceiling for Vilardi is infinite.

And then there are the other two acquisitions: Rasmus Kupari, another right-handed forward with NHL experience; and Alex Iafallo, a veteran of 420 games and one of the King’s leaders the last two seasons. Both are excellent pieces to a now-improved forward corps.

So which team won the trade Tuesday? Well, that’s certainly up for debate and only time will truly tell, but getting Vilardi for Dubois, plus the aforementioned sum of all parts, might provide the edge to the Jets to, at the very least, winning the day.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

You May Also Like

Top Stories