Blackhawks select Nicolas Beaudin


With the 27th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks selected defenseman Nicolas Beaudin from the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Though not necessarily being viewed as a consensus first round pick by most, the Blackhawks were very high on Beaudin and were excited to be able to add him to the organization because of his high-end playmaking style.

Beaudin is the type of defenseman the Blackhawks crave. He is a very smart player with outstanding vision and offensive ability, specifically the ability to get the puck to his forwards. Beaudin is also capable of quarterbacking his team’s power play, something he did well with Drummondville this season.

While having decent mobility, skating is certainly an area Beaudin will need to improve to get to the NHL. He has decent speed and agility, but does not have the best acceleration. He can also improve his footspeed in regard to backwards skating, as he can be beat on the outside. However, Beaudin does possess a pretty solid foundation, which helps him stay balanced when clearing the front of the net and battling along the boards for pucks.

Beaudin possesses a pretty good shot. His slap shot is not overly powerful, but he does a good job getting it through traffic to create scoring chances. His wrist shot is probably his best shot, with good power and accuracy and a quick release.

However, the crown jewel of Beaudin’s game is definitely his vision and passing ability. He has a knack for finding teammates and making good decisions with the puck. Beaudin’s good hands allow him to complete difficult passes. Beaudin is very comfortable with the puck on his stick and enjoys bringing attention to himself so he can find an open teammate. Beaudin can also push the pace with long stretch passes. His high-end playmaking ability is evidenced by the 57 assists he registered in 68 games in the regular season and eight more assists in 10 playoff games.

Beaudin’s defensive game is still a work in progress, though he showed signs of growth this season. His awareness and hockey sense really helps him out and helps make up for his deficiencies, such as his relatively small frame, being just 5’11” and 175 pounds.

Beaudin will definitely need at least a couple more years of development before being able to crack the Blackhawks lineup, but in time he should prove to be a nice piece on the Hawks’ blueline.

Implications for the Blackhawks
The Blackhawks are set up nicely for the future on the right side of their defense with 2018 #8 overall selection Adam Boqvist and 2017 draftees Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell. Being left-handed, Beaudin gives the Blackhawks a nice piece to develop. He has the potential to be a power play quarterback and slot in as a second-pairing defenseman down the road.

What others are saying
“Beaudin is a very good stick handler and passer. He plays the role of power play quarterback, setting up teammates, and being creative at the blue line. He is very smart and anticipates the play, spotting open teammates and hitting them with tape-to-tape passes through tight openings. Beaudin is also very good on the rush. He protects the puck well and can skate the puck out of tight situations. He also is willing to rush the puck up the ice. Beaudin’s vision helps him to make a strong first pass, and to start the transition game for the Voltigeurs.”
Ben Kerr/Last Word on Hockey

“He’s got great vision. (His) hockey sense (is) off the chart. (He) reads the play really well. He’s ahead of the play, he sees it coming. He’s becoming a complete defenseman also. His defending is really getting better and better. He takes pride in it. He can be playing against the best players on the other side and also bringing a lot of offense. (He is) a solid player and a transition guy that can move well with great vision.”
Dom Ducharme/Drummondville Voltigeurs Head Coach

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