By selecting Lauzon, the Kraken get a 24-year-old who will bring toughness to the blue line in Seattle and can play both the left and right sides. He will also be reunited with his former coach in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Providence Bruins, Jay Leach, who was hired as an assistant coach on Dave Hakstol’s staff earlier this month in Seattle.
Lauzon Had a Breakout 2020-21 Season
After struggling the last couple of seasons to find a spot on the Bruins’ blue line, the 56-game shortened 2020-21 season was a breakout one for Lauzon. He made the roster out of training camp and he made his presence felt when he was in the lineup for Boston. However, the season did not go smoothly for him. During his first shift on Feb. 21 at Lake Tahoe, Nevada, against the Philadelphia Flyers, he broke his wrist, which required surgery and forced him to miss five weeks of action.
Lauzon played in 35 regular-season games for Boston combined in the two previous seasons before finding a permanent home this season. He had one goal and seven assists, but finished with a plus/minus of plus-8, which is not too bad considering when he was in the lineup, he was one of the black and gold’s top penalty killers. In the playoffs, he missed four of the five games in the first round against the Washington Capitals because of an injury, but he played in all six second-round games against the New York Islanders, but had a minus-3 and was clearly not healthy.
Boston drafted Lauzon 52nd overall in the second round of the 2015 Entry Draft. After playing two more seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) with Rouyn-Noranda, he spent a majority of the next three seasons with Providence before spending this season in the NHL on a full-time basis. Lauzon has one year remaining on a two-year, $1.7 million contract that carries an annual average value (AAV) of $850,000.
What Lauzon Brings to Seattle
Lauzon will bring toughness to the Kraken, along with being a very good penalty killer. He will not produce much offensively, but he plays a physical game, will come close to averaging 20 minutes a night and can play any pairing as a stay-at-home defenseman. He averaged 18:43 this season with Boston. He joins new teammates Adam Larsson and Jamie Oleksiak, who the Kraken also selected as top-four defensemen.
There is still time for Lauzon to build the offensive game that he had with Rouyn-Noranda that saw him score 35 goals over four seasons with 95 assists. If he is able to continue his development offensively, then he will be a nice young addition to the defense in Seattle. With his contract being cost-controlled and with plenty of upside, Lauzon was a smart selection.
Other Players Left Exposed Returning to Boston
With the Kraken choosing Lauzon, that means some other young key pieces that were left exposed will be returning to the Bruins this season. Defensemen Jakub Zboril, and Connor Clifton, along with forward Nick Ritchie were passed on by Seattle and are returning to Boston. Clifton returns after a good season in Boston filling in for injured defensemen, while Zboril’s lack of improvement in his game most likely kept Seattle away.
Scott Roche covers the Boston Bruins for The Hockey Writers. Scott has been a sports writer for 25 years for different sites and daily newspapers. Writing started out as a hobby, but it has become a passion for Scott over the years.