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NHL Prospect Profile: Nicolas Beaudin

AJ Haefele Avatar
June 19, 2018

Statistics

Scout Quotes

Nicolas Beaudin is a diminutive yet cunning defenceman that is able to use his size to his advantage. His mobility is all but elite at this point; he primarily uses his speed to open up passing and shooting lanes in the offensive zone. With and without the puck he stays composed and in-position, allowing him to analyze situations effortlessly and make those calculated decisions. Defensively, he is assertive and, though he isn’t able to impose himself physically, he uses his vision and quickness to take away options and put pressure on the opposition. He plays a structured game offensively, and he does the little things right. His ability to recognize where the puck is, where it is going to be, and why it is going to be there is an indicator of his high-level hockey sense. When you put together skill, speed, and excellent decision-making as well as he does, that translates to on-ice productivity and power-play time. All-in-all, Nicolas Beaudin is an offensive defenceman that understands his own game well and ever seeks to expand upon his strengths. – Elite Prospects

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.

Beaudin could stand to add a little more power to his shot. His slap shot needs some work. He maximizes the effectiveness by getting it through to the net and keeping his shots low, encouraging his teammates to get rebounds and tip-ins. Beaudin is most effective when sneaking down from the line and using his wrist shot. His wrister is strong, accurate and features a quick release. Beaudin is always pushing the pace and looking to get involved offensively. He will need to pick his spots better at the next level.

Beaudin has the offensive skills to succeed at the next level, but needs to continue to work on his skating and defensive game. His late birthday, and lack of size may be held against him on draft day, and it would not be a surprise to see him slip later than what we have him ranked. However, with good development, he could quarterback a team’s powerplay and play second pairing minutes at even strength. – Last Word on Hockey

AJ’s Thoughts

This is one of the draft’s most underrated players. I see him mostly thought of as a second-round prospect but I think he has the talent to go in the first. He’s great with the puck and his first pass i among the best in this entire class. He creates offense with exceptional vision and his passing ability makes him a threat even from his own zone. He certainly can rush the puck but it’s not the part of his offense that I like quite as much and I don’t think it will translate as well as his stretch pass ability.

He’s a little on the small side and he really doesn’t engage a lot physically but he’s very good with an active stick and his gap control is excellent. He’s a classic Q defenseman in that he excels in the offensive areas of the game but he’s well-schooled in how to defend without being physical. Beaudin is able to turn his limitations into strengths on a regular basis.

Highlights

Avalanche Fit

I don’t think Beaudin would last to either of Colorado’s picks in the second round but if he was somewhere there at 47, he’d be an excellent addition to the blue line. He has the skating, hockey sense, and raw ability to be a difference-maker on the Avalanche blue line in time. As a lefty, it’s an added bonus because he doesn’t have to join the glut of righties fighting for ice time. Beaudin would be a great, great way to go about the second round.

Rankings

#25 Hockey Prospect
#56 Future Considerations

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