By: Ryan Duffy | Follow Me On Twitter @Rduffy26
On Tuesday, November 1st, the Bruins pulled off a three-goal comeback against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 6-5 victory. One of the goal scorers in Boston’s thrilling game against Pittsburgh was rookie Jakub Lauko, who scored his first career goal in his sixth NHL game. Lauko’s first goal came off a beautiful pass from veteran Nick Foligno that made the score 2-1 late in the first period for Boston, but the Bruins ended up falling behind 5-3 heading into the third period. Boston eventually tied the game late in the regulation before sealing the two points in overtime.
Lauko originally made the team out of training camp, but he was previously sent down to the minors in late October. With David Krejci out of the lineup, he was recalled by the Bruins on October 31st ahead of Tuesday’s matchup. Since he was drafted by Boston in the 2018 draft at 77th overall, the 22-year-old had spent his professional career with the organization in the AHL with the Providence Bruins. In his AHL career, the winger has played in 99 career games with Providence and tallied 13 goals and 31 assists. Although, it wasn’t always rainbows and sunshine in the minors for Lauko.
The Czechia native, in his second year with the Providence Bruins, ranked second on the team in scoring during the 2020-21 season with five goals and 14 assists through 23 games. Heading into the following season, himself and the coaching staff had high expectations. Unfortunately, his third year was a disaster, as he recorded only 16 points in 54 games while also being an astonishing minus-28 (fourth worst amongst AHL forwards). Because of his disappointing season, Lauko decided to go the extra mile in his offseason training. The Bruins’ fourth liner shared his thoughts with the media on last season’s struggles back during the preseason.
“Last season I had a big expectations of myself that I’ll end up with those guys at the start of the season and it didn’t work out,” Lauko told the media on October 8th. “I wasn’t good enough. End of last season, (I was) pretty bad. But this summer, I was training my butt off and hopefully it’s going to pay off.”
So far, the hard work has undoubtedly played off for the speedy forward. When in the lineup, Lauko has been an effective grinder for Boston as he uses his speed on the forecheck and is never afraid to give or take a hit. Almost all players face adversity on the ice at some point in their professional hockey careers. Much like his linemate, Nick Foligno, Lauko has put last season behind him and worked his tail off to make the Bruins roster. If he keeps up this pace, Lauko could stick with the Boston lineup for the remainder of the season. After Lauko’s goal and performance on the ice on Tuesday, Montgomery will likely keep the rookie in the lineup heading into tonight’s matchup against the New York Rangers.