Boston Bruins 2021 Player Grades: Jeremy Lauzon showed promise

With the continuation of our Boston Bruins 2021 Player Grades series, we now look at defenseman Jeremy Lauzon.

The 2020-21 season was Jeremy Lauzon’s first season playing in a full-time role. Drafted 52nd overall in the 2015 Draft by the B’s, Lauzon has played in the NHL the previous two seasons but never played more than 20 games in each of these seasons.

This season, Lauzon was expected to play a larger role for the Black and Gold whether or not former captain Zdeno Chara stayed. Chara left because he would’ve been given a lesser role, a depth role, with the team. This means that Lauzon would’ve been playing in a similar role either way.

Lauzon started the season playing alongside Charlie McAvoy on the first pairing — what was Chara’s spot in the lineup — as head coach Bruce Cassidy wanted a similar dynamic for that pairing from the previous few seasons as Lauzon plays a similar style to Chara.

However, this would change later in the season — not primarily because of Lauzon’s performance, but due to the fact that the B’s were struggling to create offense from the backend and the acquisition of Mike Reilly at the trade deadline.

Jeremy Lauzon played quite well during his first full-time season for the Bruins.

Lauzon suffered some injuries during the season. He broke his hand twice — once during the season and once during the playoffs. The second time, he played through it, playing with a splint on his hand under his glove.

However, when healthy, he played his role well. The first game of the season, he struggled, but he rebounded nicely for the second game and had a nice stretch of well-played performances.

But with him being injured, he lost his spot in the lineup as the pairing of Matt Grzelcyk and McAvoy proved to be too good to split up. Lauzon would find himself as the third-pairing left defenseman at season’s end. But honestly, this spot probably suits him better due to his inexperience.

Because of his inexperience, Lauzon is still prone to “rookie mistakes.” Sometimes he takes a bad angle to the puck or puck carrier, sometimes he makes a bad pass, and sometimes he forgets to pick up his man. But, overall, Lauzon showed significant promise this season and I think he can be a solid shutdown defenseman as a borderline first-pairing guy.

Lauzon is still young, however. Just 24 years old, he still has some developing to do. But you can see the potential as he was asked to step into a large role and basically replace Chara with just 35 NHL games under his belt.

He could’ve done more in the offensive zone as he only scored one goal and eight points in 41 games, but I’m sure the offense will come eventually.

Overall, Lauzon had a solid first season as a full-time defenseman. He was asked to played several different roles, starting off as the team’s top left defenseman, then being moved down to the third pairing, then being asked to play his weak side on the second pairing in the playoffs.

Lauzon dealt with all the instability and played his game. He filled the physical role that Chara once played but did have his rough patches and hard times. But he’s still young and will only get better with more NHL experience.

Grade: B-