Columbus Blue Jackets Adding Patrik Laine Elevates Them

Patrik Laine

There is little doubt that when the Columbus Blue Jackets acquired Patrik Laine in exchange for Pierre-Luc Dubois, they elevated their team’s standing. Both teams improved but the Blue Jackets have added a top-line scorer to their roster.

Patrik Laine Brings Columbus Notoriety

Not only did the Blue Jackets acquire Max Domi recently in exchange for Josh Anderson, but they also went one step further towards developing their team into a true contender. Adding Laine will certainly almost immediately help their lack of scoring. They only have averaged 2.3 goals a game this season which ranks them 28th in the NHL. The main focus may be how Laine can improve the meagre power play of the Jackets which currently stands at 11.5 percent, also 28th in the league.

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Patrik Laine equals instant offence and he has the statistics to prove it. 306 NHL games, 140 goals and 110 assists for 250 points. That’s 0.46 goals a game and 0.36 assists a game. And speaking of assists, he has broadened his overall game by turning into more of a playmaker. Last season he actually had more assists (35) than goals (28). During his second season in 2017-18, Laine tallied 44 goals and 20 were of the extra-man variety. The dude can flat out score. His 15.2 percent shooting ability has got to help Columbus. Give him the puck, he’s almost automatic.

Where Patrik Laine Fits in

Since the Blue Jackets just acquired Max Domi, he would be the perfect centre (where he wants to play) with Laine on either wing. The trouble with that concept is both players are not your top-line defensive-minded players. That’s where a potential linemate of Oliver Bjorkstrand can come into play. He is an excellent defensive forward and can be the stopgap needed for any lapses from Domi or Laine. The thing is, he can also add additional offence to a top line. He has three goals and five assists in 10 games this season. A line like that could bring back good memories to Blue Jackets’ fans of the Artemi Panarin, Dubois, Cam Atkinson line.

Laine May Be Ready to Play This Week

When the trade was done in this pandemic world of ours, quarantines are expected. While Dubois must go on a 14-day quarantine since he’s headed to Canada, Laine only needed a 48-hour time period to pass COVID-19 rules. In fact, he skated Monday 2-1-21 for the first time as a new member of the Blue Jackets. Laine is currently eligible to make his Blue Jackets’ debut whenever he is cleared to be ready by the coaching staff. He is currently day-to-day with an upper-body injury. However, all signs show that Laine will be debuting Tuesday night for Columbus. In the one game he played this season before suffering the injury, he had two goals (including the game-winning goal in overtime), an assist, and three shots on goal.

His first game should be an indicator of what value he brings to the organization. The Blue Jackets have been an outstanding defensive team, with good goaltending. Now, adding Laine and Domi they should be able to increase their offensive effectiveness to start being an all-around tough team to beat. They’ve been included in postseason play the last four seasons with two second-round eliminations and two first-round knockouts. With this short season upon us, can they get past that second round and be included in the elite teams? There doesn’t seem to be any obvious reason why not.

Who Won The Trade

That will be determined as both Dubois and Laine get into action. It is not to be discarded that the Winnipeg Jets will now have a powerful second line consisting of Dubois, Paul Stastny, and Nikolaj Ehlers. That’s not too bad. Their first line of Kyle Connor (4-G, 5-A), Mark Scheifele (3-G, 7-A), and Blake Wheeler (3-G, 5-A) will remain, and why not? They are on fire so far this season.

When comparisons are done between Dubois and Laine as far as statistics go… Laine wins that. Dubois has had 66 goals, 93 assists good for 159 points in 239 games. That amounts to just 0.67 points per game compared to Laine’s 0.82. As far as which player will make the most impact with their new team, Laine will be in the spotlight and he should shine as a true star that is already is.

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