Columbus Blue Jackets 2021 season preview: The rise of Pierre-Luc Dubois

Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

The 2020 NHL postseason included a thrilling Columbus Blue Jackets' series victory over the Maple Leafs -- as well as a breakout for Pierre-Luc Dubois, the No. 3 pick of the 2016 draft.

Will they build on that momentum this season, amid questions on whether they added enough offensive firepower to one of the league's best blue-line groups? Here's our 2020-21 preview.

Big question: Will Pierre-Luc Dubois be on this team all season?

Oh no, not this again. Just two years after the Blue Jackets dealt with the looming departures of Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus has another star that might want out. Pierre-Luc Dubois, who continues to develop as the team's No. 1 center, signed a deal for just two years this offseason. Dubois reportedly told management he didn't want to commit to the organization long term.

This gives GM Jarmo Kekalainen two seasons to strike on Dubois' value and initiate a trade -- or see if the 22-year-old may have a change of heart. Coach John Tortorella and captain Nick Foligno have experience dealing with this dynamic in the past (see: Panarin, Bobrovsky) but this is less than ideal.