Jets' Dubois: Trade drama 'was a very hard part in my life'
"For me, the hard part was when I got traded, it was the people kinda putting words in my mouth, like why he wants out," Dubois told "31 Thoughts: The Podcast" on Monday, according to Sportsnet's Luke Fox.
Dubois continued: "These are people that have never met me, that have no idea who I am, have probably never even done an interview with me. It was kind of tough to deal with that. It was hard on my parents, to be honest. For my mom to see stuff like that, it was tough on her.
"That was a very hard part in my life, and I went through it, and I'm still alive. There's worse things that can happen."
The Columbus Blue Jackets selected Dubois third overall in the 2016 NHL Draft. At the end of 2020, just before his fourth season with the club, it was reported that he'd requested a trade. Five games into the campaign, then-head coach John Tortorella benched him. Days later, the Blue Jackets traded Dubois to the Jets for Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic.
The reason for Dubois' request never became public. Prior to the trade, Tortorella said that he wanted the player to "get in front of it" and give a reason why he wanted out.
Dubois, 23, said that he's aware that his silence may have irked fans, but he and his agent, Pat Brisson, decided that it was the more mature route.
"You know, the organization did so many good things for me. They drafted me third overall when nobody thought I'd go third overall. They gave me a chance," Dubois said. "So, I don't know why I'd go out there and say bad things or say things that I might regret later on.
“I didn't think anybody there deserved that - the staff, the players, the fans. I thought that maybe saying less would annoy people and make people mad, but down the line, I think that's the best way to be respectful.”
Dubois' tenure with the Jets didn't get off to a great start, as he recorded eight goals and 12 assists in 41 games. He said Monday that he didn't feel comfortable all season. Dubois will be a restricted free agent at the conclusion of the upcoming campaign.