Despite playing just 13 games with the Nashville Predators last season, David Poile and company apparently saw enough out of Jeremy Lauzon to lock him up long-term, signing him to a four-year contract worth $8 Million. That’s an AAV of $2 Million a year.
Lauzon, 25, came to Nashville during this past season’s trade deadline. The Predators sent a 2022 2nd Round pick to the Seattle Kraken in return, a move that garnered a lot of skepticism at the time. Many, including several of us on the OTF staff, initially believed Lauzon was just a depth piece for the Preds’ push to the postseason. However, Poile has doubled-down on the fact he considers Lauzon a long-term project for the Preds.
“When we acquired Jeremy back in March, we felt he was a player with a bright future who would help solidify our blueline moving forward, so we are excited to have him remain with the Predators,” Poile said in a team statement. “Jeremy jumped right into our lineup with his physical style of play and fits the identity that we like to bring each night. At just 25 years old, he’s helped us further reach our goal of getting younger and he is thrilled about the opportunity to continue to improve and develop with our organization and in the city of Nashville.”
For his part, Lauzon was indeed impressive in his short stint with the Preds last season, displaying a knack for making simple, but reliable plays in the defensive end of the ice. While we was primarily used as a 5th/6th defenseman, he did spend time playing alongside Roman Josi on the team’s top pair.
The four-year term is certainly a bold investment for a player who only had 13 games to showcase his skills. But at the end of the day, the relatively low AAV keeps this deal far from high-risk. The Predators obviously see Lauzon as a piece of the future puzzle, and Lauzon will have a long leash to back that up.
Here’s a look at all the defensemen making between $1.5 and $2.0 million AAV.
Huge age gaps in this group, but Travis Dermott is the best comp really. He is on a $1.5M AAV, likely will get a pay raise in 2023 (though not much of one).
I think this Lauzon value is about right. pic.twitter.com/yTcFx2D0cT
—Alex Daugherty (@AlexDaugherty1) June 13, 2022
What do you think of Lauzon’s new deal, Smashville?