On Thursday, the Boston Bruins officially inked Jakub Lauko to a two-year contract extension with a cap hit of 787,500. The first year of his contract is a two-way deal, but year two is a one-way NHL contract.
Lauko was drafted in the third round, 77th overall, by the Bruins in the 2018 draft and has since developed into a solid professional hockey player. In four seasons with the Providence Bruins, Lauko has 23 goals with 38 assists in 134 games.
Last season was by far Lauko’s best as a pro, with 10 goals in 35 games in Providence, the highest total in his four seasons in the AHL. He also played twenty-three games for the Bruins, adding 4 goals and 3 assists.
Lauko is a terrific skater who brings a lot of speed to the lineup and is a relentless forechecker. He also gets under the skin of his opponents a bit and is tough to play against. He had 58 penalty minutes this season in the AHL in 35 appearances.
Jakub Lauko will play a big role for the Bruins in 2023
Entering 2023-2024, Lauko has the opportunity to be a part of the Bruins’ bottom-six forward group. Last season, Lauko showed a lot of promise. At this point in his career, he is too good not to get significant playing time in the National Hockey League.
The Bruins do not have a strong pool of prospects, but they have players who have the potential to be NHL regulars, such as Lauko, Fabian Lysell, Johnny Beecher, and Mathew Poitras. The Bruins need at least one of the young forwards they have in their system to contribute to the NHL next season.
The Bruins are a solid team with plenty of veterans on their roster, but given the cap situation, they need a player on a cheap affordable contract that Lauko just signed to fill a spot in their lineup on a nightly basis.
The best man for the job is Jakub Lauko. He is the most prepared to make the jump to the NHL, already has NHL experience, is versatile, and has the work ethic, speed, and forechecking ability the Bruins need in the bottom six part of their lineup next season. This gives prospects like Fabian Lysell and Mathew Poitras more time to develop before they reach the NHL.
At 23, this feels like the make-or-break season for Lauko to become a full-time Boston Bruin. His speed and forechecking ability would perfectly complement Milan Lucic and Patrick Brown’s physical style of play on the Bruins’ fourth line.
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I would expect him to thrive in that line, causing chaos on the ice and playing with two veteran players to mentor him and help him develop his game. Boston Bruins fans should expect to see a lot more Jakub Lauko on the TD Garden ice next season.