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A third-round pick, 39th overall, by the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the 2015 QMJHL Draft, defenceman Nicolas Beaudin has vastly overperformed that draft pedigree. He has become one of the best offensive defencemen in the QMJHL, and a big reason for what was largely seen as a successful season for the team. The Voltigeurs finished fifth in the QMJHL Standings with 92 points on the year. Unfortunately, things did not go exactly as planned in the playoffs, with Drummondville falling in the second round.
Beaudin was a dominant force for the Voltigeurs this season. He led the offence from the blue line with 12 goals and 57 assists for 69 points in 68 games this year. Beaudin did not slow down when the playoffs came. He scored three goals and eight assists for 11 points in 10 playoff games this season. All of that effort was rewarded as Beaudin was named a second-team QMJHL all-star this past season.
Nicolas Beaudin Scouting Report
Defence — shoots Left
Born October 9th, 1999 — Chateauguay, Quebec
Height 5’11” — Weight 175 lbs [180 cm / 79 kg]
Beaudin is a slightly above average skater but given his size deficiency, he must continue to improve to succeed in the pro ranks. His speed is good going forwards but his first few steps and his acceleration need a bit of work. While he has the speed to be strong on the rush, the lack of quickness can create some issues in short races to loose pucks. He also needs to continue to work on his backwards skating, as he can have some issues defending against quicker forwards. Beaudin has a strong lower-body and good balance. He is strong on the puck and battles well given his size deficiency. His pivots, agility, and edgework are also better moving forwards than backwards.
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’s skating can be an issue in the defensive end of the ice. His gap control can be a problem. Defending against the rush, he backs off too much, as he is careful not to be beaten wide. This opens up passing and shooting lanes for an opponent. When the play is down low in the zone, he works hard to keep attackers to the outside and uses a quick poke check to steal the puck. However, his size can be an issue when facing bigger opposition.
Projection and Comparison
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. Beaudin’s game is reminiscent of former NHLer Tomas Kaberle, but this is a style comparison only, and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the many highlight packages of Beaudin that are available on youtube. Note that there is not a lot that has been uploaded so we included some interviews as well.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Embed from Getty Images
BOISBRIAND, QC – OCTOBER 27: Nicolas Beaudin #92 of the Drummondville Voltigeurs skates against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada during the QMJHL game at Centre d’Excellence Sports Rousseau on October 27, 2017, in Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada. The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada defeated the Drummondville Voltigeurs 2-0. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)