As the clock continues to tick on the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline, the Nashville Predators made a move to help shore up the blue line, acquiring defenseman Jeremy Lauzon from the Seattle Kraken on Sunday in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
Nashville’s 76 points currently have it in the Western Conference’s first Wild Card spot, four points ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights.
The 24-year-old defenseman has six points in 53 games with Seattle this season, and was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the second round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He has 17 points on four goals and 13 assists in 129 combined career games with the Bruins and Kraken.
The move adds another second-round selection into Seattle’s stockpile, and it now has four second-rounders in the 2022 draft. It was a busy day for the Kraken, who have been collecting assets leading up to the deadline, and amassed five total picks across various deals with the Predators, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Winnipeg Jets.
Nashville Needed a Boost With Borowiecki, Benning Injured
The Predators and Minnesota Wild are both third-best in the Central Division with 76 points, though the Wild have two games in hand, and Nashville needed to shore up its blue line after both Mark Borowiecki and Matt Benning went down with injuries and though Lauzon’s statistics don’t jump off the page, his physical presence may be specifically what piqued general manager David Poile’s interest.
The 6-foot-1, 204 pound Canadian defenseman is minus-9 in 53 games this season, but has 67 penalty minutes — 138 in his career — and isn’t afraid to mix it up with the opposition if need be. His 176 hits are 19th-most in the league, and he’ll be counted on more for his defensive ability and physicality, as opposed to his offensive output.
Kraken Continue to Load Up on Draft Picks
As mentioned above, Seattle continues to stock up on assets for future drafts. The Kraken now have 11 picks in this season’s draft — including four in the second round — and 12 next year, including three second rounders, two third rounders, and three fourth-round selections.
The 2021-22 season has been bumpy this season, as Seattle’s 19-38-6 record puts it not only last in the Pacific Division, but also second-to-last in the entire league, ahead of only the Montreal Canadiens. Though this year wasn’t the dream season fans in the Emerald City had hoped for this year, the club is well positioned in future drafts to continue to build a contending team in the Pacific Northwest.
The deal helped both clubs improve, Nashville in the immediate and Seattle in the future, and the $850,000 cap hit is reasonable for the Predators to absorb this season. In addition, the Predators will have the rights to negotiate and re-sign Lauzon, who is a restricted free agent following this season. Be sure to stay tuned to The Hockey Writers for complete trade deadline coverage.
A die-hard hockey fan in the desert, and proud Iowa State alum. Detroit Red Wings and Arizona Coyotes contributor for The Hockey Writers.