Nicolas Beaudin

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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Blackhawks lock up 2018 first-round pick Nicolas Beaudin

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks lock up 2018 first-round pick Nicolas Beaudin

The Blackhawks announced Friday that they have agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract with defenseman Nicolas Beaudin that runs through the 2020-21 season. He will remain with the Drummondville Voltigeurs is the Quebec Major Hockey League.

The Blackhawks have now locked up both of their first-round picks from 2018 in Adam Boqvist (No. 8 overall) and Beaudin (No. 27 overall).

Beaudin, 19, has one goal and eight assists in nine games this season. He compiled a team-leading 69 points (12 goals, 57 assists) in 68 regular-season games in 2017-18 and was named to the QMJHL second All-Star team.

Given how successful 2017 first-round pick Henri Jokiharju has looked a year removed from his draft, it’s not unreasonable to think Beaudin could compete for a full-time roster spot on the Blackhawks next season. But they can afford to be more patient with him, given the possibility of Boqvist making that jump to the NHL next season and avoiding the complication of breaking in their top young defensemen prospects all at once.

It might be more likely Beaudin starts next season with the Rockford IceHogs in the American Hockey League and start his professional development there.