Lauzon Acclimating to Nashville, Making Difference for Preds

Lauzon Acclimating to Nashville, Making Difference for Preds

Moving across the country for anyone can be a jarring experience, but to do so with short notice provides even more hurdles to jump over. That’s exactly what Jeremy Lauzon experienced last month, and the Nashville Predators newcomer can now call Middle Tennessee home after he was acquired from Seattle prior to the Trade Deadline.

After starting his career with the Boston Bruins, the 24-year-old Lauzon began this season with the Seattle Kraken. Although he is a newcomer to Nashville, he is no stranger to being in unique situations. Before the 2021-22 campaign, he was picked up by the Kraken in the Expansion Draft. Now, the defenseman is already settling in with his new club.

“It’s been great,” Lauzon said on a recent episode of the Preds Official Podcast. “I was really excited to be coming here at the Trade Deadline. The guys are great and the team is great, so I’m really excited to be here.”

The deadline can be a stressful time for any NHL player, especially with the sense of the unknown. Luckily for Lauzon, he had great support during the transition all the way from the Seattle staff, to his agent and to the Nashville Predators for helping him organize his move across the country.

“So, the whole day I was just kind of being nervous and waiting around with my girlfriend in our apartment, and we got the news around 7:30 pm in Seattle time [that I was traded], “Lauzon said.” So, it took the whole day, but by the end, I was really excited. We were really excited to be moving here. “

Starting in a new organization can be nerve wracking for anyone. Trying to get to know new teammates, becoming acquainted with new staff and figuring out a new city is a tricky task for some. However, Lauzon has found out rather quickly that the Preds have welcomed him with open arms and have been patient with him when it came to adjusting to his new organization.

“Obviously there was a lot to do,” Lauzon said. “The first couple days I came to Nashville, I had to figure out my move from out of Seattle and to ship all my belongings here. But I had a lot of help from [Predators Director of Team Services & Player Relations] Brandon Walker and all the team staff. So, my day went pretty smoothly. Then I had a little time to just walk around and get the feel of the city. “

While Lauzon may be new to Nashville, he had actually been on their radar for a while, including that of Preds General Manager David Poile.

“He’s a solid player,” Poile said of Lauzon following the deadline. “He’s an improving player and he is a player that fits our identity that we really like to play… I should also point out that when you’re doing these deadline deals there’s a big difference between a rental player [and a player] that could be signed with Lauzon. He is a restricted free agent after this year, and I would anticipate that we will re-sign him in the offseason. Hopefully, this will be a long-term player for us and not a rental like we have done in the past… Lauzon’s trade was for today, but it was also for the future… We just feel he was a good guy to pick up with a bright future. “

Learning a brand new system in the heat of a playoff push is a tough task. However, Lauzon has had some help with his friend – and Preds defenseman Alexandre Carrier – who he has leaned on support for in the past.

“This system obviously is different than what I was used to in Boston or Seattle,” Lauzon said. “So, after the [first] morning skate I sat down with our D-Coach [Todd Richards] to do some video and it helped me a lot. That first game I played with Alexandre Carrier, so we talked the whole game. I told him before the game, I’m like, ‘I might ask you a lot of questions tonight, so just be patient with me.’ I was trying to keep my game simple and make the hard plays simple, and I think it went well. “

Now with eight games as a member of the Preds – and a fight in each of the last two – Lauzon has quickly won over the admiration of his teammates, as well as his head coach.

“He’s a fantastic teammate,” Preds bench boss John Hynes said following Thursday’s win at Ottawa. “He’s a very coachable guy. He plays the way that we want to be able to play. I think he’s gotten more and more comfortable. He sees [how beneficial it is] when you come into a new team and end up getting into two fights, and his willingness to sacrifice himself for the good of the team [is outstanding]. He seems more and more comfortable. I know he’s really, really happy to be here… I think the players are really recognizing that and have really accepted him. Jeremy is really happy to be here, and I think he’s got a lot of upside for us. “

Moving to Tennessee has its perks too, especially for an avid outdoorsman and country music enthusiast. A native of Quebec, Lauzon is used to having a great place to get outside – even in the cold – and be immersed in nature, and he’s ecstatic with his new opportunity to do just that once again.

“I love country music,” Lauzon said. “So, it was a good fit for me. I do love hunting and fishing too and I heard it’s great here in Tennessee. Obviously the sun too, because in Seattle it was a tough winter. So it’s been great.”

The grind of an NHL season is never easy, but just like the rest of his team, Lauzon is embracing the challenges that are thrown his way – and feels he’s found another great destination in Nashville to call home.

“I do feel more comfortable,” Lauzon said. “The minute I came in, everybody was so nice to me and welcomed me with open arms. So, it’s been great, and I am just starting to learn everything and to just really fit in with the team. I’m really excited. “

Click here to listen it Jeremy Lauzon‘s full interview on Episode 167 of the Preds Official Podcast.

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