A competitive two-way defenceman that earns his ice time and strives to be a difference-maker. Excellent skating technique: naturally mobile and able to start and stop on a pin's head. Displays a deceptively accurate shot and is creative on the power play. Proficient playmaker and spots seams in traffic quickly. His habitually conservative style of play in his own end lets him make quick, high percentage decisions with and without the puck. Reacts to different pressure situations with poise and analyzes the situation very quickly to determine the right play to make. All-in-all, a versatile two-way defenceman that keeps his own game in check and plays to the extent of his capabilities.
What BSN Avalanche sees
Lajoie very much plays within himself. He keeps his game simple, rarely straying from his comfort zone and getting adventurous. He's safe defensively, rarely going for a big hit or chasing a puck out of position. He's a coach's dream of a player in the way he approaches his position. Has some offensive upside but not an overwhelming amount. Could be a decent power play quarterback one of these days.
Not a lot stands out about Lajoie to me. He's talented but not overly so. He's a good but not great skater. He makes efficient, safe choices but is it about making the safe play or a fear of making the bad play? I'd like to spend time picking his brain on how he became such a reliable, safe defender in his own zone.
I see a ceiling with a second-pairing and some power play time with maybe some penalty kill thrown in on a weaker team that desperately needs the help.
Expected Draft Position
Lajoie should look for his name beginning in the second round and carrying on until the fourth.
How Prospect Fits in Avalanche Organization
He's not a sexy prospect and that certainly fits the bill for what the Avs have targeted along the blue line for a number of years now. He has more offensive upside than most of the guys currently in the system, however, so it's hard to be upset at the prospect of Lajoie bringing his A game with him.