What Jeremy Lauzon’s contract extension means for him and the Bruins


If the Bruins are going to sustain their recent run of excellence under general manager Don Sweeney, they’re going to need to continue to lean on young and cheap, but also talented, players to fill in around their stars.

With that in mind news dropped Friday that the Bruins have signed 22-year-old defenseman Jeremy Lauzon to a two-year contract extension worth an $850,000 average annual value. Lauzon was a second-round pick (No. 52) in 2015 and he has appeared in 23 NHL the past two years. This season he has one goal in seven NHL games.

More important than his production has been his strong defense and physicality, in addition to his ability to capably play the right side as a left-handed shot, something Matt Grzelcyk and John Moore have both struggled with.

In terms of salary-cap management, having a player of Lauzon’s caliber locked up for two more seasons at less than $1 million means the Bruins have themselves covered if circumstances call for them to lose Torey Krug to free agency and they have to move someone like Grzelcyk up the depth chart. Or perhaps Moore becomes expendable before the Feb. 24 NHL trade deadline.

Of course, Lauzon’s cost certainty could make him more tradeable to a seller looking to inject cheap, young blood into the lineup. Similarly Connor Clifton, now 24, signed a three-year extension with an AAV of $1 million last July 1. One could see him, when healthy, getting thrown into a trade to help the Bruins create cap space, or sticking around and forming a young, affordable third defense pair with Lauzon. After all, Grzelcyk is a restricted free agent this summer and it’ll be interesting to see if the Bruins think they can keep moving forward with Krug and Grzelcyk in the same defense corps.

According to PuckPedia, Lauzon’s deal calls for him to make $700,000 in 2020-21 with a $100,000 signing bonus and then make $900,000 in 2021-22.

Regardless of how the deal is structured it’s a smart one for the Bruins as they try to keep the lifeblood of their organization pumping without overspending in free agency.

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