Lauriane Rougeau doesn’t necessarily stick out when you watch her play. And that is not a knock on her.
She does everything so well and is usually in the right position.
Whether it’s shutting down an opponent’s rush, breaking out on offence or the right offensive play at the right time, there’s no wonder Rougeau is among the best defenders in the world, and a key cog on Canada’s national team.
She was nominated for the league’s Defenceman of the Year award this year alongside her National Team teammate (and eventual winner) Laura Fortino, and her Canadiennes teammate and defence partner Julie Chu.
Rougeau played 22 games this year, missing only two for the Four Nations Cup. She had two goals and 17 assists - an increase of 10 points from a year ago. She had eight of her assists on the power play as she as a key member of that unit.
The first unit of the Montreal power play is so good because they aren’t set in their roles. Caroline Ouellette or Marie-Philip Poulin sometimes play the point. Sometimes it’s Rougeau or Chu. The skill in the offensive zone is incredible to watch and that includes Rougeau and Chu who are technically the defenders in the unit.
As you could see here, Rougeau is behind the goal line to set up a power play goal.
But she can also play the point and has a booming shot. Like Cathy Chartrand, she just doesn’t need to use it as much when you have the talented forwards that Montreal does.
She also had a goal and two assists in three playoff games. Her goal came in game two of the CWHL Semi-Final against the Toronto Furies
Rougeau was part of Team Canada at the World Championship in Kamloops after the season ended and had an assist in four games on their way to the silver medal. She wore an ‘A’ at the 2015 Worlds the year before. She was also a member of the Sochi Olympic team and a very likely one for the 2018 games.
She also made her debut in the old NWHL as a 16 year old. She played 25 games that season. This past year was her second CWHL season after being a first round pick in 2013. She missed the 2014 season because she was with the National team preparing for the Olympics.