Lawson Crouse
Image: CHL Images

Lawson Crouse

Hometown:

Mt. Brydges Ontario

Currently Playing In:

CHL

Birthday:

1997-06-23

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2015

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2015

Height:

6-4

Acquired:

1st Round (11th Overall), 2015

Weight:

211 lbs.

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History

2012-13: Lawson Crouse played five junior A games with the St. Thomas Stars of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League and skated for the Elgin Middlesex Chiefs in the Alliance minor midget hockey league in Ontario. He had 1 assist in his brief stint with the Stars and scored 22 goals with 28 assists and 51 penalty minutes in 27 regular season games for Elgin Middlesex. Crouse scored 4 goals with 5 assists and 10 penalty minutes in seven midget minor playoff games. The Chiefs participated in the OHL Cup and Crouse scored 4 goals with 2 assists and 6 penalty minutes in five games. He was selected by Kingston in the first round (fifth overall) in the 2013 OHL Priority Draft.

2013-14: Crouse played for the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs as a 16-year-old and played for the Canada U18 team in the 2014 World Junior Championship after representing Canada Ontario in the 2014 World Hockey Challenge. He scored 15 goals with 12 assists and was +10 with 64 penalty minutes in 63 regular season games for the Frontenacs. Kingston finished second in the East Division before losing to Peterborough in a seven-game first-round playoff series. Crouse had 3 assists and was -2 with 2 penalty minutes in seven playoff games. He scored 1 goal and was -1 in seven games as Canada captured a bronze medal in the WJC and scored 2 goals with 2 assists in five games for fifth-place Canada Ontario at the WHC.

2014-15: Crouse was Kingston’s leading scorer in his second OHL season and represented Canada in two tournaments — the 2015 U20 World Junior Championship in January and the 2014 Ivan Hlinka U18 tournament in August. He scored 29 goals with 22 assists and was +10 with 70 penalty minutes in 56 regular season games for the Frontenacs. Kingston finished third in the East Division and was swept by North Bay in the first round of the playoffs. Crouse scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was -7 with 18 penalty minutes in four playoff games. He scored 1 goals with 2 assists and was -1 in seven games as Canada captured its first WJC gold medal since 2009. The Canada U18 team also won gold at the Ivan Hlinka tournament and in five games Crouse scored 6 goals and was +7 with 8 penalty minutes. He was ranked fifth amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Florida in the first round (11th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft.

2015-16: Crouse signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Panthers in July 2015 and received an extended look in training camp before returning to Kingston for his third OHL season. He was an assistant captain for Canada at the 2016 World Junior Championship and made his pro debut with Florida AHL affiliate Portland in April. In two games with the Pirates he was +1 with no points nor penalties. An assistant captain for the Frontenacs, he scored 23 goals with 39 assists and was +13 with 56 penalty minutes in 49 regular season games. Kingston finished first in the East Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. Crouse scored 7 goals with 4 assists and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes in nine playoff games. He scored 2 goals with 3 assists and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes in five games for Canada at the WJC. Canada finished sixth, falling to eventual champion Finland, 6-5, in the quarterfinals. 

 

Talent Analysis

Crouse is a big, physical winger who protects the puck well, effectively using his frame to overpower opponents at the junior level. He can forecheck and cycle the puck better than most, if not all, his age and is an adept defensive forward. Crouse isn’t the fastest skater but his skating is far from a weakness, and, despite concerns over his offensive ability, he has a quick shot and uses his size to clean up any garbage in front of the net.

Future

Crouse was the second-leading scorer for the Kingston Frontenacs in 2015-16 and was dominant at times during the OHL playoffs. He was an assistant captain for Canada at the World Juniors as an 18-year-old. Crouse will make a strong push for a roster spot with the Panthers in training camp. He is too young to play in the AHL in 2016-17 and would have to return to juniors. He is also eligible to play for Canada again at the 2017 WJC. Viewed by some scouts as a big player who dominated junior hockey due to his size advantage, Crouse took big steps in 2015-16 and has the appearance of a future top-six forward.

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