31-Year-Old Center – Columbus Blue Jackets
Brandon Dubinsky Contract Information:
Signed a six-year extension with the Blue Jackets worth approximately $31.5 million in July 2014.
Dubinsky (wrist) played over 16 minutes in Saturday's preseason win over the Penguins, recording six hits and a plus-1 rating, Adam Jardy of The Columbus Dispatch reports.
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Brandon Dubinsky: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The Ryan Johansen deal pushed Dubinsky back into the No. 1 center role for Columbus, and the move resulted in a slight increase in his scoring pace, as he potted 11 goals with 28 points in 41 games post-trade. That’s an 82-game pace for a career high in points and his first 20-goal season in a Blue Jackets uniform, and with the team doing little to add to its depth at center in the offseason, Dubinsky could well center the top line again all year. However, in four seasons in Columbus, he's only played 75 or more games twice, as his physical style has taken its toll on his now 30-year-old body. He'll have the support on the wings to be productive, especially given the chemistry he's shown with Boone Jenner, but Dubinsky will need to stay healthy to take full advantage of his opportunities.
Dubinsky probably played the finest hockey of his career last season -- when he was on the ice. Unfortunately, a variety of injuries limited him to just 47 games, making it twice in the last three years that Dubinsky's missed a big chunk of the campaign. With 36 points in 47 games last year, he was on a 62-point pace for a full season -- his career high is 54. He chases the puck with dogged determination, hits with near-reckless abandon, chirps with the best of them, and is willing to drop the gloves, but Dubi's also got the skill to finish around the net. However, as we've seen, that highly physical playing style can take its toll on his body. Health will be the key -- if he can stay on the ice for a full season, 50-plus points, 80-plus PIM and 200-plus hits should wind up on his ledger.
Dubinsky was the heart and soul of the Blue Jackets last season, and while his point total (16 goals and 34 assists) wasn't elite, his other numbers (98 PIM, 234 hits, 52.9% faceoff win rate) certainly were, and the job he did stifling Sidney Crosby gave the team a legitimate shot at pulling off an upset against the Penguins in their first-round playoff matchup. Dubinsky was rewarded in the off-season with a six-year extension, and will remain entrenched on a top line for the Jackets for the foreseeable future. He's capable of a little more offense, but his real value lies in multi-category fantasy leagues that count his other contributions.
Dubinsky just couldn't stay healthy in his first season with Columbus. That's too bad, since when he was on the ice he managed a solid 20 points and 76 PIMs in 29 games for the Jackets. He still looks every inch the future captain of the club, playing a physical, two-way brand of hockey that brings out the best in his teammates. Given his rounded skill set, he'll be far more valuable in fantasy leagues that count multiple categories than in straight points leagues.
Two years removed from a 24-goal, 54-point season, Dubinsky was the closest thing to a big prize the Blue Jackets received in the Rick Nash trade, but he's hardly an elite talent. At his best he's a physical two-way forward who should quickly become a fan favorite in Columbus, but he's coming off a down season and even with a spot on one of the top two lines with the Blue Jackets it's hard to see him doing much better than his 2010-2011 output given the quality of the supporting cast he'll have. If there was ever a player that needed to get out of New York, it was Dubinsky, who had become public enemy No. 1 amongst the fanbase while also landing in coach John Tortorella's doghouse on several occasions.
Last year, Dubinsky really came into his own, not just in scoring but his all-around game evolved as well. He's part of a young core of Rangers (along with Marc Staal, Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi) who are all reaching the top of their games and have been secured contractually for the next few years. Dubinsky is likely to remain paired on a line with Callahan and Artem Anisimov, with whom he's shared good chemistry. That is, unless the Rangers can't find a left wing to play with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. Either way, Dubinksy's a good bet to match or surpass his offensive numbers from last year (24 goals, 24 assists). This should make him a stable mid-round fantasy draft selection, particularly in deeper leagues as he should maintain dual position status. For leagues with faceoffs as a category it should be noted that although Dubinsky predominately plays on the wing, he still took the majority of faceoffs when he was on the ice.
The 24-year-old forward will look to build off what turned out to be another solid season for the Blueshirts. Despite playing in just 69 games last year, Dubinsky was still able to increase his points total from 41 in 2008-09 to 44 last season, marking the third straight season in which Dubinsky has increased his points production. Dubie is also not afraid to drop the gloves when necessary – he recorded 54 penalty minutes last season (down because of a broken hand) after posting 112 sin-bin minutes two years ago. Dubinsky has natural talent, and he proved it when he was named the MVP of the annual YoungStars Game back in 2008. He also works well with superstars – he played well with Jaromir Jagr and then found himself on the same line with Marian Gaborik often times last year. If given the opportunity to play a full season with Gaborik, Dubinsky has the ability to easily put up 60-plus points. However, Head Coach John Tortorella changes his lines frequently, so expect Dubie to finish closer to the 50-point mark with around 70 penalty minutes this year.
Dubinsky hasn't been overly impressive in his two full seasons with the Rangers, but he has caught coach John Tortorella's eye. The 23-year-old has surpassed 40 points each of the last two years, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him take a huge step forward in his first full year under Tortorella. The Rangers don't have a ton of scoring options, so the points will have to come from somewhere. Dubinsky didn't see a ton of ice time under Renney, so just by shear virtue of increased playing time, we should see at least some bump in scoring out of Dubinsky. Couple that with the confidence of his new coach and two years of experience, and Dubinsky falls into the breakout candidate category of 2009. Dubinsky remains unsigned at the beginning of training camp, but the Rangers are hopeful a deal can be finalized before he misses too much time - otherwise a trade may be their only option.
Dubinsky is certainly a player to keep an eye on. Scored 14 goals and 40 points in his first full NHL season. Although he is a natural center the Rangers moved him up to play with Scott Gomez on the first line and may do so again this season. This move can only increase his value.
With Matt Cullen vacated from this team and Michael Peca no longer on the radar, Dubinsky has an opportunity to slide into the team’s third line centerman spot. His game parallels that of Darcy Tucker, but with better all-around offensive skills. Look for the Rangers to give him every opportunity to make this team coming out of training camp. While playing for AHL Hartford, Dubinsky has recorded 21 goals, 22 assists for 43 points and 115 PIMs in 71 games.
Dubinsky appeared in 51 games with Portland, registering 21 goals and 46 assists for 67 points, along with 98 penalty minutes. Dubinsky has a nice offensive game, but projects more to an Darcy Tucker's style of game -- a great team player and super agitator against opponents.
Dubinsky was selected 60h overall by the Rangers in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and will remain on the junior level for this upcoming season.