Max Lajoie

Aaron Vickers

Lajoie is a cerebral player who can flash his elaborate skill set, but first uses his smarts to find appropriate times to do so. He is a great skater, using his speed both forward and backward to lead the rush or stick to with an opponent defensively. He is strong on his edges and can get himself out of some pickles by being crafty instead of pressing the speed-burst button during pressure situations. Lajoie is a relaxed defender who slows the game down and makes smart choices instead of making rash decisions. He is able to play under a lot of pressure and take some physical punishment, always finding an effective play to get the puck out of danger. He is a strong puckmover who can distribute with finesse or play a possession game. Lajoie has the well-tuned touch and feel to thread the fine, soft pass or the Sunday night football Hail Mary to a man streaking up the ice. He impressed with his ability to corral pucks and keep engaged in physical battles while still controlling play. He possesses a strong wrist shot that he puts on net looking for rebounds or tips. Lajoie defends the play very well and shows a strong understanding of what will work for him best in each unique situation. He is positionally sound, and uses a crafty stick to control gaps and steal pucks. He doesn’t have a lot of risk in his defensive game and takes the smart approach to defending opponent chances. He is a little on the lanky side, but can dish out and take punishment. Lajoie has the type of demeanor you want out of a top defenseman, a guy with a calming aura who can rise to the occasion and make a difference in all zones.   (May 2016)