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Blue Jackets prospects shining in playoffs

Dubois, Kolesar and Thurkauf saving their best for playoff hockey

by Andrew Schwepfinger / BlueJackets.com

The Blue Jackets might have ended their playoff campaign earlier than expected, but that hasn't stopped the organization's prospects from playing their best in the playoffs.

Western Hockey League action has featured a tight playoff series between two Jackets prospects, Keegan Kolesar and Calvin Thurkauf, and their respective teams, the Seattle Thunderbirds and Kelowna Rockets.

On the other side of the continent, the Jackets' 2016 third overall selection Pierre-Luc Dubois has played a key role in the QMJHL President's Cup Playoffs with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.

Q&A: PIERRE-LUC DUBOIS

Dubois, a 6'3", 209-pound forward, scored twice Wednesday to put his club in a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Charlottetown Islanders. Dubois showcased his speed and power in an impressive play dipping past two Islanders defensemen down the right wing to open the scoring.

HIGHLIGHTS: DUBOIS SCORES TWO AS ARMADA TAKE 3-1 SERIES LEAD

Dubois is second in the league in playoff points with 8-13-21 in 14 games, second only to his Armada teammate in Alex Barré-Boulet. Playoff hockey has been especially good to the Blue Jackets prospect of late, as Dubois tallied three assists in a 5-4 Game 3 win earlier this week. Blainville-Boisbriand look to punch their ticket to the President's Cup Final on Saturday night in Charlottetown.

Video: Bob McElligott chats with 2016 pick Pierre-Luc Dubois

The WHL's Western Conference Final is heating up between Seattle and Kelowna as both teams feature a Blue Jackets prospect.

Seattle's Keegan Kolesar, the Jackets' fifth selection (69th overall) in 2015, has broken out in the WHL Playoffs. He leads the Thunderbirds in scoring with 9-13-22 in 12 games, which is T-3rd in the league in playoff points. Tuesday's Game Four saw the 20-year-old prospect tally both of Seattle's goals in a 2-1 win. The 6'2", 227-pound right winger signed a three-year entry level contract with the Blue Jackets in December.

JACKETS SIGN KEEGAN KOLESAR TO ENTRY LEVEL CONTRACT

Seattle's opponent in the Kelowna Rockets features another Blue Jackets prospect, Calvin Thurkauf. Drafted 185th overall in 2016, Thurkauf is T-6th in the WHL in playoff scoring, putting up 7-13-20 in 15 games including Kelowna's only goal in a Game 3 defeat at home.

Thurkauf, 19, captained Team Switzerland at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championships and has spent the last two years with WHL Kelowna.

The Rockets and Thunderbirds continue the Western Conference Final series this Friday as the teams head back to Seattle knotted at 2-2.

JACKETS SIGN CALVIN THURKAUF TO ENTRY LEVEL CONTRACT

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