The Boston Bruins will be without a promising young defenseman for at least the next month.
Jeremy Lauzon had surgery to address a fractured left hand and will be re-evaluated in four weeks, the team announced Wednesday. He left Sunday's win over the Philadelphia Flyers at Lake Tahoe early and didn't return.
Lauzon has taken on an increased role for the Bruins after the offseason departures of Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug.
The 23-year-old defenseman has tallied three points and 23 shots on net in 18:32 of ice time over 16 games. He's excelled in a shutdown role for the B's.
His loss also is a blow to Boston's penalty kill, where he's played the second-most ice time (3:08) per game of any player on the team. The Bruins have the second-best penalty kill in the league with a 87.7 percent success rate.
Who will need to step up on the Bruins blue line to replace Lauzon? Former first-round draft pick Urho Vaakanainen could get an extended look at the NHL level. We also could see Jakub Zboril play more as well.
The Bruins also would be wise to acquire a veteran defenseman before the trade deadline. This should have been a priority for the B's before Lauzon's injury.