Last season, Jeremy Lauzon stood out in training camp and was one of the last players to be cut before the season began. An opening on the blueline had all the defensive prospects battling for the spot, but no one expected Lauzon to stand out the way he did. Although he did not end up making the team, he carried that momentum from training camp into Providence and got off to a remarkable start.
In his first 15 games, Lauzon looked like a young star in the making. He had two assists and a plus-8 rating, but was also very reliable in his own zone. Whether he was clearing the front of the net, digging in along the boards, or staying in coverage, Lauzon was doing everything right. He was one of many bright spots on a young Providence team that got off to a nice start.
Unfortunately, Lauzon’s hot start came to an end on November 22 after suffering a concussion that knocked him out of action until mid-January. Sure, most players who get off to hot starts slow down eventually, but Lauzon was showing no signs of regression up until his injury.
Once he returned, it took a little while for him to regain his footing, so it’s worth wondering how his season would have panned out had he not missed two months. Still, the 21-year-old still managed to have a fine rookie season.
He put up just seven points, which might not have been ideal considering he amassed 130 points in four seasons with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, but Lauzon spent most of the season focusing on refining the defensive part of his game. His offensive capabilities are not a mystery; we all know he can contribute on the score sheet. There is a learning curve for young players in the AHL, especially defensemen. So, Lauzon’s willingness to cut back on the offensive part of his game certainly shows that he is eager to learn and adapt to the pro game.
With the emergence of Matt Grzelcyk and the offseason signing of John Moore, the chances of Lauzon making the Bruins this season are pretty slim. Barring any trade, injury, or a spectacular showing by Lauzon, it’s likely he is heading to Providence again. At 21, Lauzon still has a long career ahead of him, so it isn’t the end of the world if he spends another season in the AHL. Oh, and if Lauzon can find the offensive touch he had in juniors, he could become one the best two-way defenders in the minors.
Lauzon, who was oftentimes the forgotten man from the 2015 draft class, has now emerged as one of Boston’s best prospects, and he earned it.