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Dubois: 'I'll do anything to be better' after disappointing 1st season in L.A.

Leila Devlin / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Pierre-Luc Dubois' first season as a King didn't go according to plan, but Los Angeles' $68-million man is dedicated to flipping the script in his sophomore campaign.

"I'm committed to having a better season," he said during his exit interview Friday. "I'll do anything to be better."

"I know I can do better," he added. "My first year in Winnipeg didn't go well, it was kind of the same thing - a lot of new things, new role, new everything. I didn't panic, I knew what I could do. ... I'm not panicking, I'm not stressed. Is it frustrating? Sure. Is it hard? Yeah. It was eight months or a year ago I was playing how I can play. It's not lost. I gotta get back to it, and that's on me."

The Kings acquired Dubois last summer in a sign-and-trade with the Jets that brought the forward to California on an eight-year extension with an average annual value of $8.5 million. He'll carry the highest cap hit next season among all Kings forwards once captain Anze Kopitar's two-year, $14-million pact kicks in.

Dubois said in July that the move to Los Angeles would give him the chance to "fully be" himself. However, he mustered just 16 goals and 40 points in 82 regular-season contests while averaging just 15:42 minutes of ice time per game, good for the second-lowest total in his career.

He put up one point - a garbage-time goal in Game 1's 7-4 loss - across five outings of the Kings' first-round defeat to the Edmonton Oilers.

Dubois pointed to stability as a factor that he thinks will help him in Year 2. He frequently moved around the lineup this campaign and even spent some time on the fourth line.

"I played on a lot of lines this year," he said. "I think any player, at the end of the day, wants consistency because then you can build some chemistry and you can get things rolling. I think that's not a secret. ... That helps a lot.

"Next year's a new year. We'll see what happens. The only thing I can control is how good of a summer I can have."

The 25-year-old currently doesn't have any trade protection, but his full no-move clause for the 2024-25 campaign kicks in July 1 and lasts until 2028-29, when a modified no-trade clause takes its place.

Dubois said he loves L.A. but was relatively cagey when asked if he had any concerns about his long-term future with the Kings.

"I can't. It's not in my control," he said. "I'm a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. ... I can't sit here and give you any more than that."

Dubois has amassed 145 goals and 342 points in 516 career NHL games, split with the Kings, Jets, and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Columbus selected him third overall at the 2016 NHL Draft.

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