Two of the top three picks in the 2016 NHL draft traded places Saturday following a blockbuster deal between Columbus and Winnipeg.
The Blue Jackets sent disgruntled center Pierre-Luc Dubois and a third-round pick to the Jets for right wing Patrik Laine and center Jack Roslovic, according to multiple reports.
The move comes just 48 hours after Dubois was benched by former Rangers coach John Tortorella in an overtime loss to the Lightning.
The 22-year-old French Canadian requested a trade from Columbus before the season began this month, following a drawn-out negotiation process that resulted in the restricted free agent signing a two-year contract worth $5 million.
Dubois, the former third-overall pick, led Columbus with 18 goals and 31 assists last year and was the third overall pick in the 2016 draft.
But Dubois scored only one goal through the first five games and appeared lackadaisical at times, which led to his benching Thursday. He played fewer than four minutes, which was well-below his average of 17 minutes per-game.
“I definitely have to be better,” Dubois told reporters Friday.
The 22-year-old Laine, who has scored an impressive 140 goals in 306 games but is considered a defensive liability, also requested a trade during the offseason.
The Finland native was the second pick in 2016 and is in the final year of a two-year, $13.5 million contract.
He had two goals and one assist in one game for the Jets this season.