Here’s the first of what will be three features on the potential restricted free agents for the Boston Bruins and whether or not they will return to play with the Bruins in the 2023-24 regular season or beyond.
Will 23-year-old forward Jakub Lauko earn a regular spot on the Boston Bruins’ NHL roster this coming season?
After being drafted by the Boston Bruins in the third round (77th), of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Czech forward Jakub Lauko has been on the traditional path to the NHL. After being drafted by the Boston Bruins, the now 23-year-old, six-foot, 196-pound winger spent a season playing for Rouyn-Noranda in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Lauko scored 21 goals and had 20 assists in 44 games for the Huskies in the 2018-19 season. He then turned pro, signing a two-year contract with the Providence Bruins. Lauko played the next two seasons with the Providence Bruins, scoring 10 goals to go with 18 assists in 77 games.
He re-upped with the Boston Bruins on a three-year, $2.8 million contract that expires on June 30. Lauko had 18 goals and 24 assists in 112 games with the P-Bruins during the contract and then in his first 23 NHL games this season, Lauko had four goals and three assists. He chipped in with an assist in three Stanley Cup Playoff games in the Bruins’ seven-game first round series loss to the Florida Panthers.
In the humble opinion of this veteran puck scribe, Lauko did a great job down the stretch run of the regular season. Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery called on him while he rested the likes of captain Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Brad Marchand, and he brought speed, skill, and energy to a sometimes dormant fourth line.
“If they don’t want him anymore, I’ll take him on our roster,” an NHL general manager told Boston Hockey Now recently. “I thought that kid was like a Tasmanian Devil against us.”
The read here is Lauko has finally earned his shot to be a regular on the Bruins’ fourth line and he will be given that shot in training camp in September.