Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2015 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! For a Complete Listing of all our 2016 Draft Articles Click here.
The fifth overall pick in the 2014 QMJHL Draft, Pierre-Luc Dubois had a scintillating second half of the season and saw his draft stock be greatly elevated as a result. It all seemed to start at the CHL Top Prospects game where he was the best player on the ice and led Team Orr to the victory. He took that momentum back to the QMJHL where he finished with 42 goals and 99 points in 62 games for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. He put up three goals and five points in five games, during Cape Breton’s six game victory over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in the first round of the QMJHL playoffs. Dubois has represented Canada internationally, picking up a gold medal with the U18s at last summer’s Ivan Hlinka tournament, and a bronze at the 2015 IIHF U18s.
Pierre-Luc Dubois Scouting Report: 2016 NHL Draft #6
Left Wing/Center — shoots Left
Born Jun 24 1998 — Ste. Agathe-des-Mont, PQ
Height 6’03” — Weight 202 lbs [191 cm/92 kg]
Pierre-Luc Dubois is a power forward type who has a powerful skating stride and fights through checks as he takes the puck to the front of the net. He has excellent lower body strength and balance, which allows him to win board battles, and establish position in front of the net. He is hard to knock off the puck and protects it well using his body as a shield in the cycle game. Dubois also shows good speed and acceleration, as well as very good agility for a man his size. Off the rush, he has the skating skill to also be able to take his man wide and cut to the front of the net. His agility and ability to change gears makes him capable of playing a finesse game as well as his power one.
Dubois can be an offensive force. He has a very good wrist shot and a quick release which fools goaltenders. He has excellent hockey sense and gets himself open in good areas on the ice. From there Dubois can unleash an excellent one-timer. He has the size and the hand eye co-ordination to get tip-ins and knock in rebounds after he has established position in front of the net. Dubois has a long reach, and combines that with his strong puckhandling skill to protect the puck in the cycle and create time and space to make plays for his teammates. He also has good vision and the passing ability to be a play maker off the wing or at centre. Dubois is a big hitter, who gets in quickly on the forecheck, pressuring defenders into mistakes and turnovers.
The son of former AHL journeyman and QMJHL coach Erik Dubois, the younger Dubois’ game is very mature, and he already shows defensive skills and awareness that are very advanced for a 17-year-old. He is a complete player who understands how to read plays and helps with back pressure against the rush. Dubois is willing to sacrifice for teammates, blocking shots and cutting down on passing lanes. He also has a bit of a mean streak, and can sometimes cross the line with his physical play, as seen in his late season suspension for a hit from behind.
It sometimes takes bigger power forwards like Pierre-Luc Dubois a little longer to develop, and so its unlikely he will be NHL ready next season, however he has the combination of size and skill to be worth a little extra wait. With the versatility to play both centre and wing, he could be a first line power forward in the NHL. Dubois’ game is similar to Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars, though this is a style comparison only, and not one based on talent.
Below is a compilation of youtube videos on Pierre-Luc Dubois.
Check back tomorrow for the #7 prospect in our NHL draft rankings.