The reports were indeed true: Now former Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon is off to Seattle as a member of the Kraken. The pick was made official during Wednesday’s expansion draft presentation, and made by Kraken general manager Ron Francis.
Lauzon was actually the first player drafted by the Kraken, as they picked alphabetically, beginning with the Atlantic Division.
The 6-foot-1 Lauzon’s departure from the Bruins comes six years after the Bruins drafted the Quebec native with the No. 52 overall pick, and after 76 NHL appearances, and another 13 postseason games, over the last three seasons.
Launched up the Boston depth chart following Torey Krug’s move to St. Louis and Zdeno Chara’s move to the Capitals, Lauzon compiled a career-high eight points, 98 hits, and 53 blocked shots in 41 games in 2021. The 24-year-old also finished with a career-high 18:43 nightly ice-time, and was Boston’s most-deployed penalty-killing defender when in action, at 3:05 per night.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy leaned on Lauzon for some of the Black and Gold’s hardest minutes, too, as Lauzon was deployed for 15.49 defensive-zone starts per 60 minutes of all-situation play this past season.
That was second to only the Panthers’ MacKenzie Weegar (15.83) among the group of 158 NHL defensemen with at least 700 minutes played in 2021. And Lauzon brought that hard-nosed style to that deployment, too, with the 13th-most hits per 60 (7.66) and 67th-most blocks per 60 (4.15) among that group of 158.
With Lauzon gone, the Bruins’ left-side defensive depth chart currently features Matt Grzelcyk and Jakub Zboril at the top of the chart, and with 2017 first-round Urho Vaakanainen now a legitimate contender for minutes in 2021-22. But the Bruins have identified a top-four, left-shot defenseman as a definite need this offseason, and have already been linked to Ryan Suter.
Lauzon is also the third Boston defenseman to formally depart the organization this offseason following depth defenseman Steven Kampfer’s move to the KHL’s Ak Bars Kazan and veteran Kevan Miller’s retirement.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.