Early on Wednesday morning, a tweet surfaced about Blackhawks’ defenseman prospect Nicolas Beaudin. The tweet was sent out by Beaudin’s father, Stephane, and was about Nicolas making the jump to professional hockey. Nicolas has yet to confirm this information, but it’s coming from a seemingly reliable source.
Nicolas Beaudin, the 27th overall selection in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, has spent the last four years playing for the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL. The 19-year-old was nominated for the top defenseman of the league this season after recording 56 points (7G, 49A) in 53 games. The former first-round pick is known more for his offensive abilities, but he can handle himself in the defensive zone as well. Beaudin’s Plus-Minus rating this season was a ridiculous +60, which is a testament to his high-level hockey sense. The young defenseman’s composure with and without the puck is why he is one of the Chicago Blackhawks top prospects.
Nicolas Beaudin in 2019-20
Beaudin signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Blackhawks back in November, and he was expected to turn professional after this season with Drummondville. While his decision to go pro may not come as a surprise, it’s reassuring news after fellow defenseman prospect Ian Mitchell decided to stay another year at the University of Denver. Adam Boqvist will be in the mix to make the ‘Hawks opening night roster, but the front office hasn’t ruled out another year in the OHL just yet. Nicolas Beaudin’s commitment to professional hockey is a significant step in the right direction for the Blackhawks defense. The youth movement on the backend will begin to take place next year and is beyond necessary. It will be interesting to see how the young defensemen make an impact on the Blackhawks in the 2019-20 campaign.
Whether or not Nicolas Beaudin makes the Blackhawks’ opening night roster, he will grow immensely during his first season of professional hockey. With the ‘Hawks current logjam of defenseman, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Beaudin begin the year in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs. Easing him into the higher-level competition could be the best thing for his development. After all, Beaudin is only 19 years old and was drafted less than a year ago. No matter what league he’s playing in next year, it certainly will be fun to watch Nicolas Beaudin at the professional level.