( Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara / USA TODAY Sports )

By: Sam Minton | Follow me on Twitter @sam_minton22

Ever since he was drafted by the Boston Bruins, Jakub Lauko has been a player that fans have been interested in seeing what he can do. He has an exciting game, and it seemed as though sooner rather than later, he would end up playing in the NHL.

Lauko was drafted in the third round of the 2018 draft but has struggled to stay on the ice. He has dealt with injuries ever since he was selected by Boston.

But now Lauko is healthy, and it seems like his days in the AHL could be coming to an end. Last season the winger performed exceptionally well, tallying five goals and 14 assists in 23 games. His 19 points were enough to make him the leading scorer in Providence.

Now in 2021, things are getting back to normal. One of the signs proving so is the fact that the Bruins are headed to Buffalo to participate in the Prospects Showcase. This will be an excellent opportunity for Lauko to prove he belongs in the NHL with a dominant performance.

New Providence Bruins head coach Ryan Mougenel seems to believe that Lauko has grown a lot as a player.

“When we’re talking about players, one description I always use is, ’Does he get you excited?’ And I think every time he steps on the ice, something happens,” Mougenel said. “He’s had a ton of growth. I think he was a young pro coming into a men’s league, and he’s definitely put the time in [with] his growth as a player and a person.”

When he came into the league, Lauko’s speed is what made him stand out. Watching him play, you could see that he has the skill to play in the NHL. Mougenal believes that Lauko could already be in the NHL if he were in a different organization, but the depth in Boston has given him the time to improve his game in the AHL.

“We have the ability to have players marinate in the American League, and when they’re ready, they seem to go up when their games are tight and good,” he said. “That’s a testament [to] the organization and the competition from within that we have the ability to wait on some players and make sure they’re the best version of themselves. And I think Jakub Lauko is a prime example of that. He could probably go somewhere else and be pushed into [NHL] duty and not be ready.

But Mougenel believes that there is a chance that Lauko ends up on the Bruins NHL roster this season.

“I think he’s really gonna push,” said Mougenel. “I think he’s the type of player that Butch Cassidy likes. He’s got some abrasiveness that really kind of showed up last year along with his skill package, so he’s the real deal.”

The fact that Bruins fans are hearing such great things about Lauko should get them excited. While some of the older veterans who have led the team are nearing the end of their careers, Boston has reinforcements waiting for their opportunity.

So when watching the B’s youngsters play in Buffalo, Lauko is definitely a player that fans will want to keep an eye on. He could be skating on the TD Garden ice sooner rather than later.