Nashville Predators: Jeremy Lauzon Heating Up and Stabilizing Third Pairing

Jan 9, 2023; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Nashville Predators defenseman Jeremy Lauzon (3) takes down Ottawa Senators left wing Parker Kelly (45) in the third period at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2023; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Nashville Predators defenseman Jeremy Lauzon (3) takes down Ottawa Senators left wing Parker Kelly (45) in the third period at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports /

Just two days ago when the Who’s Not Hot List for the Nashville Predators was released, Jeremy Lauzon was on that list. But he is proving me wrong and trying hard to get off the list come the three-quarter mark of the season.

Lauzon plays with a swagger and intensity that you love to see in a third pairing defenseman, or any player for that matter. He has been showing that more and more as of late.

In the most recent win over Columbus, Lauzon racked up three hits, one blocked shot and four shots on goal in 18:35 of ice time. His number was also called on for over two minutes on the penalty kill as Columbus went 0-for-3 on their power play.

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On January 9th, when the Nashville Predators took on the Ottawa Senators, Lauzon took four minor penalties. Luckily the Predators penalty kill was on fire that night and killed off all four penalties for him. But when you go to the box that many times in a single game, its unacceptable.

Take away that game and look at Lauzon’s statistics in his last 12 games, and you’ll find it’s pretty impressive. What he has done not only on the defensive side of the ice but also being seen more on the offensive side has paid dividends for this organization.

Jeremy Lauzon is on Fire!

Since Lauzon improved his level of play the Nashville Predators have gone 7-4-1. Those five losses came against the Dallas Stars, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabers, and Las Vegas Golden Nights (in overtime). The losses against the Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens on a back-to-back at the conclusion of a five-game road trip that saw the Predators play all five games in a matter of eight days.

In his last 12 games, Lauzon has posted three goals and two assists, is a +8 in the +/- column, and has 12 penalty minutes with eight of those being in the game previously mentioned against Ottawa.

Lauzon’s physicality on the ice has definitely been noticed as well, as he has 53 hits over this stretch of play. He is among the NHL leaders among d-men in hits with 131.

Pair that with his 14 blocked shots and it is evident that Lauzon is putting his body on the line every shift to give this team a shot at winning night in and night out.

To put this in perspective, in Lauzon’s first 25 games of the season, he had zero goals and only one assist. Lauzon was also a -6 in the +/- column. With 37 penalty minutes and 78 hits, Lauzon has not only increased his physicality on the ice recently, but he has done so with taking less penalties.

Looking at all of his numbers since December 27th, there is only one area that he needs to improve on and that is giveaways. Lauzon has accounted for five giveaways and zero takeaways over this stretch. Even with that being the case, five giveaways over the course of 12 games is not terrible for a bottom pair defenseman.

Lauzon Improving the Play of Others

Lauzon has typically been paired with Dante Fabbro over this stretch, however there were three games where Fabbro was a healthy scratch and Lauzon was paired with Roland McKeown. Because of his elevated level of play, Lauzon is also making those around him better as well.

Fabbro has two assists and is a +3 over his last nine games being paired with Lauzon. One area that Lauzon cannot really help in is Fabbro’s penalty trouble. Fabbro has taken three minor penalties since December 27th. Seeing Lauzon’s physical style of play has also had an impact on Fabbro as he has 15 hits in his last nine games.

McKeown has been paired with Lauzon on three occasions over this course of the season. While it is just a small sample size and McKeown’s statistics are not as high as Lauzon or Fabbro’s a lot of that is in part to the lack of experience from McKeown.

Even still, McKeown is a +2, has three hits, two blocked shots, and the Predators have gone 2-1 in the last three games he has been in the lineup.

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Can Lauzon Keep it Going?

Being signed through the 2025-2026 season, if Lauzon keeps playing to this level, will be a huge impact to the Predators lineup. The 6-foot, 1-inch, 204-pound, Quebec native is showing that he has what it takes to be relied on in all situations.

Lauzon is having a career season offensively and the majority of that scoring has come within this 12-game stretch.

As long as Lauzon stays healthy, he could be just what the doctor ordered for the Nashville Predators to make a push for the Stanley Cup Playoffs at the end of the regular season, less than three months from now.