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2022 Player Ratings: Curtis Lazar emerged as more than just a throw-in player

Can’t ask for much more.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Curtis Lazar in 2022

Key stats: 70 GP, 8G, 8A, 16PTS

Other stats: 186 hits, 112.8 PK TOI, 33.9% oZS (5v5)

Reader rating: 6.6

Writer rating: 6.3

In a season filled with bottom-six lineup shuffling for the Bruins, Curtis Lazar was one of the team’s more consistent faces with 70 games played.

While he originally came to the Bruins as “the other guy” in the Taylor Hall trade, Lazar ultimately acquitted himself well last season and had a pretty decent tenure as a Bruin.

Statistically, Lazar’s 2021-2022 season was the best of his NHL career: he set career highs in both goals (8) and points (16).

While it’s easy to get snarky with those numbers, it’s important to note that Lazar’s not exactly paid to be a point producer ($800k cap hit last season) and that he was mostly tasked with doing lunchpail work on the fourth line.

I don’t mean to plagiarize myself, but Lazar’s season was a lot like Tomas Nosek’s season: he was asked to do a thankless, nose-to-the-grindstone job, and he did it well.

Lazar was a reliable presence on the PK for the Bruins, skating the most shorthanded minutes of his career.

If you look at his overall numbers (not just 5v5), he started a whopping 72% of his shifts in the defensive zone.

Again, a thankless job.

Ultimately, we can be grateful for the shifts Lazar put in during his year-plus in Boston, while also being OK with him leaving for greener pastures.

Lazar put his best foot forward for the most part, but the Bruins also have a few other guys ready to step into bottom-six roles.

Overall, Lazar became more than just a throw-in from a blockbuster trade, and earned himself a solid, $3 million deal in the process.

Both sides benefited during his time as a Bruin, and both sides are ready for something new.