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Jeremy Lauzon

The Nashville Predators paid a steep price — a 2022 second-round pick — for defenseman Jeremy Lauzon at the trade deadline, but now, that price may seem a little more justified.

The Predators locked up Lauzon to a four-year, $8 million contract extension on Monday, presumably solidifying half of their third defensive pairing for the foreseeable future.

“Nashville is the place I wanted to be, so I am thankful and fortunate to stay with this city and the Predators for the next few years,” Lauzon said. “As a defenseman who likes to play with physicality, I love the identity our team brings each game, and knew this was a group I would fit in with right away. 

“My teammates and the entire organization made me feel welcome from the day I arrived, and I’m looking forward to some stability and a chance to help our team that’s on the rise and is heading in the right direction.”

In 13 games with the Predators after being traded from the Seattle Kraken, Lauzon tallied one goal and three points on 17 shots while racking up 14 penalty minutes and averaging 17:06 of ice time. 

He finished the year with two goals, seven points, 63 blocked shots, 224 hits and averaged 17:40 of ice time per game. Among defensemen, Lauzon ranked third in fighting majors (7), seventh in total hits (224), ninth in total penalty minutes (81), and 17th in hits per 60 (11.5).

Lauzon shores up Nashville’s blueline depth for 2022 and beyond. The Predators played 11 defensemen last season with nine playing in 13 games or more. 

Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm, Alex Carrier and Dante Fabbro likely make up the top four with Lauzon penciled into the fifth spot, and Mark Borowiecki, Matt Benning and Jeremy Davies battling for the sixth and final spot.

“When we acquired Jeremy back in March, we felt he was a player with a bright future who would help solidify our blueline moving forward,” Predators GM David Poile said. “So, we are excited to have him remain with the Predators. Jeremy jumped right into our lineup with his physical style of play and fits the identity that we like to bring each night. 

“At just 25 years old, he’s helped us further reach our goal of getting younger and he is thrilled about the opportunity to continue to improve and develop with our organization and in the city of Nashville.”

Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_