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NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Anthony Beauvillier

Austin Manak Avatar
May 29, 2015

 

Get to know Anthony Beauvillier

Date of Birth: 6/8/1997
Place of Birth: Sorel-Tracy, QC, CAN
Ht: 5’10″ Wt: 173 lbs
Shoots: Right
Position: Center/Left Wing
Team: Shawinigan Cataractes

Anthony Beauvillier is a point producer — utilizing a smooth game on the ice to be the offensive catalyst for his QMJHL team, the Shawinigan Cataractes. Coaches praise his leadership and passion for playing hockey as the cherry on top of Beauvillier’s creamy skill-set.

As a 16 year old, the French-Canadian Beauvillier learned the ropes of the Q, posting 9 goals and 33 points in 64 games for Shawinigan. Last season, as a 17 year old, his production skyrocketed. His 42 goal, 94 point season in 67 games made him the 8th leading scorer in the QMJHL during the regular season. He was also selected to the U-18 team for Canada at the 2015 World Junior Championships, posting three goals in six games.

A jump in production such as the one Beauvillier was able to make bodes well for his ability to develop into a player who will eventually find his way into the NHL.

Beauvillier’s size, at two inches shy of six-feet tall, is one of the biggest knocks against him. Central scouting ranks him at 33rd in their final North American skaters list, and Future Considerations thought slightly higher of him, giving him the 30th spot on their list. Most scouts agree, if he were two inches taller, he’d be a first-round prospect.

Statistics

What Scouts See

Elite Prospects, Curtis Joe

A dynamic scoring center with good hockey sense. Not very large in stature, but makes up for it in speed, skill, and cunning. A talented puck-handler with good hands: is equally efficient a passer as he is a goal scorer. All-in-all, an offensively minded center that can outplay the opposition in a number of different ways. Needs to work on discipline and getting stronger.

McKeen’s Hockey, Scott Wheeler

Beauvillier’s 1.48 points per game ranks him between the first two drafted QMJHL prospects in 2014 in their draft years. This, despite playing without elite talent, bouncing on and off of a line with another potential first round pick in Dennis Yan and a handful of undrafted forwards…

…Beauvillier uses strong puck-handling skills and a strong, low centre of gravity stride to beat his opponents, either coming off the left wing or down the middle. [Beauvillier has] used an elusive knack for the game to outwit opponents.

What BSN Avalanche Sees

Beauvillier was a hard guy for me to figure initially. Obviously, his point production speaks for itself, and he was remarkably consistent last season, rarely going through dry spells. He has an effortless game, which at times can come across a bit nonchalant. This is the part I struggled with, and I’ll elaborate a bit more below.

Offensively, Beauvillier seems to be in a class of his own against most opponents, and I think he knows it. There is a calmness to his game at all times, even within his explosiveness, and he probably teeters on the edge of boredom occasionally. Don’t get me wrong, I think he competes while on the ice, but mentally it is hard to be at your sharpest when you are clearly better than most of the competition.

Defensively, a sense of urgency needs to be instilled in the young forward’s mindset. The laissez-faire attitude might fly in the up-and-down style of the Q, but it will get torn apart at higher levels. Back-checking and commitment to the defensive zone are areas with room for improvement.

Skills that figure to translate to the NHL for Beauvillier are his skating and a wicked shot which he isn’t afraid to unload. The French-Canadian also has exceptionally quick hands, which are especially noticeable on face-offs. Beauvillier dominates his peers on the dots, regularly winning a ludicrous percentage of face-offs —  he went 17/20 in one of the games I viewed.

One thing I noticed, is Beauvillier likes to have the puck on his stick, and wants the offense to run through him whenever he is on the ice. He loves taking guys on one-on-one, and often comes out on top. A criticism of scouts is he may hold on to the puck a bit too long at times, but when Beauvillier does decide to give it up, he usually is creative with his puck distribution and sets his teammates up in good areas.

Playing away from the puck, he is actually a very smart player — sneaky is a word that comes to mind. Beauvillier scores a lot of goals just by finding small patches of ice where defenders aren’t, and slipping in behind the defense whenever he gets a chance.

He’s not afraid to go to net, but usually does so in sleuth-mode. As defenders get more competent, it will be tougher for him to poach goals with this approach, and he’ll have to get stronger and not be afraid to engage and battle in front of the net a bit more.

Highlights

NHL Potential

Beauvillier has all of the offensive tools you look for in a top-six prospect for the NHL, and ideally will play slightly-sheltered minutes as an offensive sidekick/number-two center to a team’s big gun.

His wing-versatility bodes well for his NHL future, as well as a shot that is probably a bit underrated by many scouts. This kid can score some goals, and is dangerous in transition no matter which side of the ice he comes down on. If a team is willing to embrace his talents, and find ways to work around his limitations, mainly his size, I think Anthony Beauvillier is going to make an organization very happy they chose him on draft day.

Expected Draft Position

In accordance with his play style around the net I spoke of above, sneaking into the first round is a very realistic possibility for Beauvillier. He outshines many projected first-rounders in specific offensive talents, but perhaps isn’t as complete as some of those guys.

My gut feeling says teams will probably quench their thirst for bigger players in round-one, and Beauvillier ends up going off the board early in round two.

How Would Beauvillier Fit in the Avalanche Organization?

Honestly, I don’t think we’re really going to have to worry about this, because the Avs would be off their rockers to take him at 10th, and I would be shocked if he was still on the board at 40th.

That being said, if he does slip to the Avalanche’s second-round draft position, he would represent an excellent value selection. Beauvillier isn’t the big, rugged forward that the Avalanche would probably prefer, but he is skilled and his talent is immense — it’s difficult to justify passing on an asset like that.

One thing I love about Beauvillier that he could bring to the Avalanche is a shoot-first attitude. Whenever Anthony sees an opportunity to pull the trigger he does so, and if things start breaking down he usually just gets rubber to the front of the net to see what will happen.

The Avalanche could save a contract for next year by letting Anthony so his thing in the Q again next season, and have him enter the professional scene in 2016-17, either with Colorado or the San Antonio Rampage depending on his performance at training camp.

His ability to play wing and score goals could make him a very good NHL player who can improve the Avalanche roster within 2-3 years, even if he isn’t exactly the type of player they might be looking for on draft day. If he proves to be a  poor “fit” with the Avs, he still will have great value if he develops, and could be used as a bargaining chip to fill another organizational need.

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