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The D Incompletes: A few young blue-liners got a taste of NHL play last season

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The list wasn’t nearly as long as the random forwards list, so that’s good.

Boston Bruins v Dallas Stars Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Our first 2019 Player Reviews featured the “incompletes” among the forwards, and it was quite the group. The Bruins used approximately 293 different forwards last season.

On the blue line, things were a little quieter. We counted 3 defensemen who we decided to count among the incompletes.

Jeremy Lauzon

Season: 16GP, 1G, 0A, 1PTS

Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins

Lauzon made his NHL debut this season, and actually impressed on more than a few occasions. Somewhat overshadowed by some other D prospects in the system, Lauzon showed that he could skate and make decent passes at the NHL level.

He even scored his first NHL goal, a real beauty!

Hey, they all count!

While Lauzon shouldn’t be penciled into an NHL spot for next season (especially with the Bruins currently having extra guys on the blue line), Lauzon elevated his prospect profile with how he played in his limited NHL time.

Jakub Zboril

Season: 2GP, 0G, 0A, 0PTS

NHL: NOV 17 Bruins at Coyotes Photo by Adam Bow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Other Z made his NHL debut last season as well, appearing in 2 games in November. He fared fairly well, which is encouraging given how maligned the Bruins 2015 Draft is around the league.

I remember thinking Zboril looked very good during training camp, particularly during his China game. According to his coaches, Zboril has made strides during each of his pro seasons. If that continues, he could make the Bruins make some tough decisions in training camp.

While he’s almost a lock to begin the season in Providence, he’s probably going to be among the first couple guys called up in the event of an injury.

Urho Vaakanainen

Season: 2GP, 0G, 0A, 0PTS


The Finnish youngster appeared in 2 NHL games before being knocked out by a cheap shot from Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki. He battled injuries all season long, but still managed to help Finland to a gold medal at the World Junior Championships, being an Alt. Captain and usually being the guy clocking the most ice-time.

If he can stay healthy, we may get to revisit Vaakamania during training camp. Like his fellow rookie defenders, he’s unlikely to gain an NHL spot, mainly due to too many bodies.

Still, his rapid development has been a treat to watch, and we should see him in the NHL lineup sooner rather than later.