Chasing the Dream Together
For Philippe Myers and Jeremy Lauzon the dream to play in the NHL is shared. The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies duo has developed into arguably the best defensive tandem in the QMJHL. Four-year veterans of the QMJHL, Myers and Lauzon possess a new age defensive style of play that will serve them well at the next level.
The duo have grown and developed together since coming into the league as 16-year-olds. A healthy competition was formed early on during their rookie season with both promising defencemen splitting games and replacing one another in the press box. As for most 16-year-olds in the CHL the learning curve can be severe. Myers only saw action in 44 games in 2013-14 compared to Lauzon’s 55 during that season.
Lauzon turned in two solid campaigns leading to his subsequent second round selection, 52nd overall, by the Boston Bruins in 2015. Surprisingly Myers was passed over in the 2015 NHL entry draft and would eventually be invited to the Philadelphia Flyers training camp on an amateur try-out. Ron Hextall wasted no time signing the Moncton, N.B., native to an entry-level contract.
Myers had this to say when asked about the dream of playing in NHL and what its like to share that with your “D” partner and friend Lauzon. “Well we’ve known each other since we were 16 and that topic definitely comes up a lot”. Lauzon instantly remembered a discussion with Myers surrounding an NHL experience this fall. “We talked a lot about our first NHL preseason game this year, it was a really neat experience to be able to talk to him about that”.
The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies defensive duo could find themselves representing Team Canada at the upcoming 2017 World Junior Championship. Lauzon, a native of Val-d’Or, Que., had this to say when asked about the potential of playing for his country: “First of all, I’m really excited for the opportunity to play for Canada, but I know what it’s like to be cut. I was one of the last cuts last year, I know what to expect this time around”. A potential roster spot next to his friend and teammate isn’t lost on Lauzon.
The pair shared the spotlight in the recent Canada/Russia Series and it would be a logical move for Head Coach Dominic Ducharme to keep the duo intact throughout the selection camp. “We were paired together recently against the Russians so we shall see,” Lauzon said. Myers shared Lauzon’s enthusiasm and excitement in the potential of landing a roster spot on Team Canada by saying “I’ve grown up watching the tournament with my family, it’s a tradition and I would love to have the opportunity to play”.
One would assume that Myers and Lauzon had been paired together for their entire junior careers given their instant chemistry. Predominantly separated over the last two seasons Lauzon and Myers have just recently been paired together for the bulk of 5-on-5 play, and the man advantage. At 19, both players boast tremendous composure and poise with the puck and compliment each other very well. Myers ability to skate out of trouble coupled with Lauzon’s first pass have the Huskies transition game in attack mode. Nevertheless, the pair doesn’t shy away from the physical aspects of the game as well; Myers six-foot-five, 202 pounds and Lauzon six-foot-three, 202 pounds are defensively accountable and fully committed to taking care of the own zone first.
A perfect combination of size and strength this tandem have the ability to be a top shut down pair while also possessing the goods offensively to put up massive numbers. “Knowing each other on and off ice definitely helps, but we have great chemistry and make a lot of nice passes out there” said Lauzon.
It’s clear that Lauzon and Myers are destine to play at the next level given their combination of skill, speed and strength. However, the Boston Bruins prospect is very aware of how fortunate he is to be playing the game he loves considering the severity of his neck injury suffered in a playoff game last year. Did you ever think you would be back at this level after the injury? “Well, my first game back was in the Memorial Cup, it was exciting and I played a lot that game and tournament but my cardio wasn’t the greatest, I was playing on adrenal,” said the soft spoken Lauzon.
When asked if Lauzon kept in touch with other Bruins prospects in the QMJHL and CHL he had this to say: “Yeah whenever we play against Saint John, I meet up with Jakub Zboril after the game to talk, he’s a good guy and I also try to keep in touch with other guys like Brandon Carlo, Zach Senyshyn and Jesse Gabrielle”.
In my brief time with Myers and Lauzon after a tough, hard-fought game and road trip that saw the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies play five games in ten days, its evident these two talented prospects are truly driven by their passion for the game and the shared dream of one day playing in the NHL.