Bruins Prospect Watch: Is Jakub Lauko ready for NHL action?

With the 77th overall pick back in the 2018 NHL Entry draft, the Bruins selected a young and enthusiastic player in forward Jakub Lauko. Born in Prague, Czech Republic, the now 21-year-old has spent the last three seasons playing hockey in North America. Prior to that, he played for Chomutov Priarti of the Krajská liga before being drafted by the Boston Bruins.

While drafted in the third round of the entry draft, Lauko was projected to go higher by many scouting websites at the time. According to Scott Bradley, previously the Director of Player Personnel, now Assistant General Manager of the Bruins, the Bruins themselves had Lauko ranked as a first-round pick. He was even regarded as one of the best pure skaters in the draft. Time will surely tell, but the Bruins look to have something here. Even Lauko himself stated in his post draft interview that he felt he should’ve gone higher. But also stated “I can prove to everyone I’ll be the steal of the draft. That’s not an issue for me and maybe a good thing for me.

Lauko and the Huskies

Following the draft, Lauko joined the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) in the 2018-2019 season. He posted a rather impressive stat line for a rookie player with 21 goals and 20 assists in 44 games played during the regular season. Lauko led the Huskies to their first Memorial Cup in franchise history with 8 points in 5 games played during the tournament. He has also made three appearances at the World Juniors under 20 tournaments while representing the Czech Republic.

Lauko and the Providence Bruins

Lauko joined the Providence Bruins, the Bruins AHL affiliate, at the start of the 2019-2020 season. Drafted as a center it appears the Bruins hope to mold him on the wing with his straight away speed. He spent most of his time this past season on a line with center prospect Cameron Hughes with a mix of Zach Senyshyn and Robert Lantosi flanking the opposite wing. Hughes and Lauko were top two in scoring for the P-Bruins respectively.

Due to the pandemic, the AHL itself has yet to see a full season since 2018-2019. Thus, the two seasons Lauko has played in Providence have been limited to just over 20 games each season. Barring Lauko doesn’t make the Bruins roster out of training camp this month, he will see a full 72 game season with Providence. The AHL has announced its season schedule and plans to return to a full season schedule.

Lauko and the Bruins Roster this Season

It is yet to be seen if he will be able to crack the Bruins roster in the upcoming season. Let alone a rather stacked left-wing side with Brad Marchand, Taylor Hall, Jake DeBrusk and now Nick Foligno in the fold. However, he is certainly expected to be on the bubble. The kid is electric. He loves to score, and he has shown at times that he wants to do what he can to help his team. Even if it means sticking up for a teammate:

It’s this kind of infectious play that has seen past Bruins succeed. The Bruins faithful will always gravitate towards a gamer. I expect Lauko to turn a lot of heads when he gets his shot with the big club.

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-Josh Croteau (@_JCRO on Twitter)

Image Source: nhl.com

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