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Penguins Non-Tender Lauzon, Reaves Trade Officially a Bust



Zachary Lauzon Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins officially have nothing to show for the trade which brought Ryan Reaves to Pittsburgh in June 2017. Saturday, Pittsburgh Hockey Now learned the club non-tendered 2016 second-round pick Zachary Lauzon, whom they selected with the pick acquired in the Reaves deal.

The Penguins were forced to let the concussed Lauzon walk. Lauzon, 20, did not play this season as concussion symptoms have potentially ended his career. In 2017-18, Lauzon managed only 25 games in the QMJHL and tallied just four assists.

Sometimes life doesn’t adhere to the best-laid plans of mice and men. Fresh from their second consecutive Stanley Cup championship, the Pittsburgh Penguins decided they needed to add some toughness. They had just been beaten, battered and pummeled on their way to the Stanley Cup and management concluded another such assault would prevent a third Stanley Cup.

The Penguins were pounded through the regular season and in the playoffs and had little capability to pushback without star players doing their own dirty work. So, at the 2017 NHL Draft, General Manager Jim Rutherford pulled the trigger on a draft floor trade. The Penguins acquired tough guy Reaves from the St. Louis Blues and their mid-second round pick (51st overall) in exchange for middling prospect Oskar Sundqvist and the Penguins first-round pick, which was No. 31 overall.

Reaves didn’t stay for a full season with the Penguins while Sundqvist spun his wheels for a season but has become a fourth line force for St. Louis this season.

The Penguins used the acquired pick (51st overall) to select the defensive defenseman Lauzon of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. St. Louis used the 31st pick to snag Russian offensive Moscow Dynamo forward Klim Kostin.

The offensively talented Kostin was the talk of St. Louis Blues training camp last fall. His potential had tounges wagging and eyes popping. He also played for Team Russia in the past two World Junior Championships.

On paper the deal made sense, but in real life, the trade didn’t pay dividends and it got worse Saturday. As of 5 p.m. Saturday, the trade officially became a bust as the Penguins declined to sign the last remaining asset.