On June 23, 2018, the Boston Bruins selected Jakub Lauko with the 77th overall pick in the third round of the NHL Entry Draft. The 18-year-old Czech native would later comment on his selection by stating that he was “one of the biggest steals of the draft.”
Sunday afternoon during the Bruins’ preseason opener against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals, Boston got a glimpse of what the young forward was talking about.
Lauko did a little bit of everything for the Bruins in their 2-1 shootout victory over the Capitals, including blocking shots, drawing penalties, participating in the shootout and notching Boston’s lone goal during regulation.
The Bruins’ coaching staff was extremely pleased with how Lauko handled himself in his first game wearing the Black and Gold and noted that this was a tremendous start to his young career.
“It was his first game, obviously, and he played well. The 18-year-old kid didn’t seem phased by anything at all,” Bruins assistant head coach Joe Sacco said. “He competed and obviously scoring the goal was a bonus. Just the way he played the game and approached it was a good start for him. You don’t want to get too ahead of yourself here but it was a good first game for him. I thought he showed a lot of composure.”
On his tally, Lauko was left alone in the slot and he fired a spin-o-rama wrist shot past the glove of Washington goaltender Phoenix Copley, although he admits he was so excited about scoring his first goal as a Bruin that he wasn’t quite sure how to celebrate.
“It was good. The feeling after that, I didn’t know what to do,” Lauko said about the immediate moments following his goal. “I was there like ‘Oh my god I scored, what do I do now?’”
Despite this being his first year with the team, Lauko stated that he wasn’t nervous at all to play on the big stage and felt very comfortable on the ice.
Since showing up to Development Camp in June, Lauko has been determined to make either one of Boston’s NHL or AHL rosters and avoid going back to play in the Czech Republic, something that he made very clear following the Bruins’ win on Sunday.
“I’m trying to do anything on and off the ice and hope that I will stay for next season. In providence or here, it doesn’t matter, but I want to stay in America,” Lauko said. “I don’t want to sound cocky but I’m confident about it. I want to stay here and am giving everything for it.”
Lauko will have ample opportunities over the next two weeks of training camp to prove that he belongs on the highest level, as the Bruins will return to preseason action Tuesday against the Capitals, this time in Washington D.C.