Fantasy spin: Laine-Dubois trade on Blue Jackets, Jets

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NHL.com has the fantasy hockey impact of the trade that sent elite wing Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic to the Columbus Blue Jackets and valuable center Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. For more coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy and subscribe for free to the NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast.

 

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Fantasy impact of Dubois on Jets

The Jets have acquired a bona fide No. 2 center in Dubois, a huge upgrade over their previous options in the second spot at the position compared to recent seasons. The trade boosts the fantasy value of Dubois, who was already a top 100 overall player, giving him exposure to higher-end forwards at even strength and especially on the power play.

Dubois will likely play on the second line with valuable wing Nikolaj Ehlers, allowing the top line of elite center Mark Scheifele, left wing Kyle Connor and right wing Blake Wheeler to potentially remain intact. There’s also a chance the Jets could move Wheeler or Connor to play on a line with Dubois and spread out their scoring. Dubois is also likely to play on the Jets’ first power play with Scheifele, Wheeler, Connor and one of their defenseman options (most recently Josh Morrissey).

Although the Jets lose some goal-scoring flair with the departure of Laine, they won two of their three games while he was day to day with an upper-body injury, and the addition of Dubois is an upgrade at a position of greater need (center over wing). The acquisition of Dubois could have a positive ripple effect on not only Ehlers and the forward group but also workhorse goalie Connor Hellebuyck and their three fantasy-relevant defensemen, Morrissey, Neal Pionk and rookie Ville Heinola.

The Jets are now more equipped to compete with some of the top offensive teams in the Scotia North Division which have two centers ranked in NHL.com’s fantasy top 100 overall, including the Toronto Maple Leafs (Auston Matthews, John Tavares), Edmonton Oilers (Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl) and Vancouver Canucks (Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat). Dubois is worth rostering in all fantasy formats.

Biggest WPG beneficiaries of trade: Connor Hellebuyck, G; Pierre-Luc Dubois, C; Nikolaj Ehlers, LW/RW; Josh Morrissey, D

 

Fantasy impact of Laine, Roslovic on Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets get an immediate boost by adding an elite goal scorer in Laine, who ranks among the NHL’s top 10 in goals (140, ninth) and goals per game (0.46; T-8th) since entering the League in 2016-17. Columbus also adds some deep fantasy sleeper appeal in Roslovic, who has 67 points (26 goals, 41 assists) in 180 career games and could benefit from a change of scenery.

Laine, who’s currently out with an upper-body injury, will likely skate on the top line with center Max Domi when he returns to the lineup. Laine, who is dual eligible (LW/RW) in season-long fantasy leagues and a potential 2021 restricted free agent, did not get consistent top-line placement playing mostly right wing for the Jets behind Wheeler but could see increased ice time at even strength, especially if he fits in at left wing (position of greater need for Blue Jackets). Although Laine could lose some short-term fantasy appeal from having to adapt to coach John Tortorella’s defensive system, the 22-year-old could also benefit from being relied upon more heavily with less competition for a point share over time.

The addition of Laine to the Blue Jackets offense should benefit the point ceilings of Domi, defensemen Zach Werenski, Seth Jones and wing Oliver Bjorkstrand because of Laine’s finishing ability at even strength and on the first power play. Roslovic is worth monitoring in deeper leagues and could be worth adding if he gets consistent top-six minutes from the Blue Jackets. Columbus’ goalie tandem of Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins is off to an underwhelming start this season (1-2-2) but could benefit from there no longer being a distraction surrounding Dubois.

Without Dubois in the lineup, rookie forward Liam Foudy, who has one assist in five games, could take on a bigger role, especially if he plays center. Columbus’ new No. 2 center will likely be either Foudy or forward Nick Foligno, the Blue Jackets captain and a potential 2021 unrestricted free agent who covers hits (2.1 per game in NHL career) in fantasy.

Right wing Cam Atkinson, a buy-low fantasy candidate who has started slow this season (no goals, one assist, minus-6 in five games), could potentially benefit from exposure to Laine on the first power play and/or if he plays on his new teammate’s opposite wing at even strength. Fantasy managers should pay close attention to the Blue Jackets lines once Laine returns from injury and prioritize any exposure to him at even strength and/or on the first power-play unit.

Biggest CBJ beneficiaries of trade: Max Domi, C/LW; Seth Jones, D; Zach Werenski, D; Oliver Bjorkstrand, LW/RW; Liam Foudy, C/RW

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