The Boston Bruins have announced that Jeremy Lauzon underwent surgery to repair a fractured left hand today, and he will not be reevaluated for the next four weeks. The defenseman was just starting to find his way in the NHL, receiving regular playing time as part of the team’s youth movement on the blueline.
Lauzon, 23, even played on the top pairing alongside Charlie McAvoy at times this season and logged at least 20 minutes of ice time in seven of his first 16 games. He had three points on the year, but actually led the Bruins in hits and had more shots on goal than any defenseman not named McAvoy. A key part of the team’s early success, he’ll have to work his way back after at least a month off.
Because of the condensed schedule, missing four weeks means missing at least 14 games, a quarter of the season. The question now becomes whether or not the Bruins use this injury as a catalyst to make a trade deadline acquisition, or rely on an internal replacement like Urho Vaakanainen. The depth chart is getting awfully thin with Lauzon, Matt Grzelcyk, and Jakub Zboril all now on or headed to injured reserve. Just yesterday, a report emerged that the Buffalo Sabres are willing to trade Brandon Montour, while speculation on Mattias Ekholm has led to the Bruins being a potential destination.
Luckily for Lauzon, he has another year on his current contract and won’t have to be going into arbitration with a limited amount of games. If healthy, he should return to the lineup later on this year and be given a chance to re-establish himself as a core piece on the back end.