The Toronto Sun pegged that decision as the biggest surprise of the first round, with PHT in full agreement. Many believed that Puljujarvi was one of the draft’s “big three” of players, yet the Blue Jackets opted for Dubois instead.
At the moment, almost two-thirds of PHT voters believe that Columbus made the wrong choice.
Even Puljujarvi struggled to contain his disbelief:
Dubois realizes that the two will be linked – possibly for their entire NHL careers – especially since the Edmonton Oilers pounced on the chance to draft Puljujarvi fourth overall.
As he hopes to pivot from the winger to becoming a full-time center and also aims to make an immediate NHL jump, Dubois told the Columbus Dispatch that he indeed aims to prove that the Blue Jackets made a justifiable decision.
“(The Blue Jackets) drafted me third in front of the guy everybody thought they were going to draft, but I think they made the right decision,” Dubois said. “I want to prove that to everybody.”
Ultimately, it’s not just his reputation that’s on the line. Viewpoints will be shaped by Puljujarvi’s journey and Blue Jackets management will be judged based on the work of each prospect.
Will his character shine through?
Dealing with such expectations will likely test that character.