Nicolas Beaudin

Defenseman Nicolas Beaudin ready for NHL debut with Blackhawks

Defenseman Nicolas Beaudin ready for NHL debut with Blackhawks

Wednesday is the day for defenseman Nicolas Beaudin. The 20-year-old will be making his NHL debut, along with forward Brandon Hagel, against the San Jose Sharks at the United Center.

"Really excited," Beaudin said. "It's been awesome since Mark Bernard (Chicago's Vice President of Hockey Operations) called me yesterday. It's a dream come true just coming here and I'm going to enjoy it tonight." 

Beaudin, who was selected at No. 27 overall in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft, was recalled from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League on Tuesday where he has 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in 59 games in his first season as a pro. 

"I think I just want to make some plays," he said of his game. "I want to show that I can make some plays, but I'm good in my zone too. I think I've improved a lot in Rockford this season and I want to still improve lots of things, but like I said I want to make some plays out there."

With the time Beaudin has had to develop in the AHL and with the Hawks slated to most likely miss the playoffs for a third consecutive year, the timing is right for the blueliner.

"I wasn't expecting nothing," Beaudin said. "When I got to Rockford this year I just wanted to grow my game and lately in the last month I've been playing some good hockey down there. But you never know what's going to happen. You just play your game and take it day by day, and when I got the call I was excited for sure."

The Châteauguay, Canada native spent the previous four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he recorded 167 points (24 goals, 143 assists) in 211 games for the Drummondville Voltigeurs.

Beaudin is feeling the first-timer butterflies, but can't wait to step on the big league ice for the first time.

"I'm not really stressed in life, but I think it's coming right now today to me," he said. "I've got family members coming. It's gonna be fun. Like I said it's a dream come true. 

"I've been here for two training camps, so I'm familiar with lots of face(s). I'm familiar with Carly (Lucas Carlsson). I hope he's going to help me a lot tonight. Yeah, it's a dream come true. I'll be a little bit stressed but I think it's going to be a good stress for me."

Beaudin and Hagel will mark seven players on the Blackhawks to make their NHL debut this season, joining Carlsson, Adam Boqvist, Kirby Dach, Dominik Kubalik and Anton Wedin.

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Five Blackhawks make top 100 prospect list

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USA TODAY

Five Blackhawks make top 100 prospect list

After missing the playoffs for two straight seasons, the Blackhawks are in a transition period coming off the team’s long run as a Stanley Cup contender. There is hope for a relatively quick return to contention with a number of highly-regarded prospects.

ESPN ranked the top 100 NHL prospects on Wednesday and the Blackhawks have five skaters on the list.

Leading the way for Blackhawks prospects is Kirby Dach, who was the third pick in this year’s draft. He is ranked No. 6 overall. The top two picks from that draft, Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko, are the top two prospects in the rankings.

Adam Boqvist is the second Blackhawks prospect, coming in at No. 29 overall. The defenseman was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 draft.

Defensemen Ian Mitchell (No. 68) and Nicolas Beaudin (No. 82) and right winger Alexander Nylander (No. 88) round out Blackhawks prospects in the top 100. Mitchell opted to return to the University of Denver for his junior year. Beaudin was the Blackhawks’ second first-round pick in 2018, picked No. 27. Nylander was acquired in the offseason in exchange for young defenseman Henri Jokiharju.

With five prospects on the list the Blackhawks had more than most teams. The Los Angeles Kings had the most prospects on the list with seven while the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers each had six.

ESPN also ranked the Blackhawks pool of prospects as ninth-best in the NHL.

 

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Hawks Talk Podcast: Evaluating Blackhawks defensemen prospects with Mark Eaton

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AP

Hawks Talk Podcast: Evaluating Blackhawks defensemen prospects with Mark Eaton

On the latest edition of the Hawks Talk Podcast, Blackhawks director of player development Mark Eaton joins the show to evaluate the organization’s top defensemen prospects and where each of them is at in their developments. Which ones could make the NHL jump next season?

Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis offer their takeaways from the Eaton interview and outlook the Blackhawks blue line group as a whole.

1:00 – Eaton on Henri Jokiharju’s development

3:30 – Adam Boqvist’s growth in North America

6:50 – Evaluating Nicolas Beaudin’s progression

8:15 – Surprised about Ian Mitchell’s decision to return to college?

10:55 – Assessing Chad Krys in college and AHL

13:10 – Challenge between stressing defensive side of game but not taking away from who the player is

15:55 – Which defensemen prospects could be in NHL next season?

18:25 – The message Erik Gustafsson’s breakout season sends to prospects

21:15 – Takeaways from Eaton interview

31:25 – Reviewing Blackhawks defensemen contracts

33:35 – Thoughts on Gustav Forsling

35:20 – The challenge for Blackhawks defense this offseason

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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