Second City Hockey’s 2020-21 preseason Blackhawks Top 25 Under 25 series ranks the organization’s top 25 players under the age of 25 by Oct. 1, 2020. The rankings are determined by a composite score from three SCH writers and community member, L_B_R. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. All four ballots will be released after the series is completed.
Nicolas Beaudin made his NHL debut in the final game of the regular season on March 11 due to multiple members of the Blackhawks blue line out with injuries. He filled in as the sixth defenseman and played just 17 minutes, 14 of those with Duncan Keith. He was on ice for a goal-for and attempted five shots.
Beaudin spent the majority of the 2019-20 season with the IceHogs and had his entry-level contract slide because he didn’t reach 10 NHL games. Beaudin had the second-most goals among defensemen for Rockford in 59 games (most among rookie d-men).
He entered the professional level after back-to-back seasons as a second-team All Star in the QMJHL with both seasons over a point-per-game pace. In his last season with the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the QMJHL he scored 56 points in 53 games.
Beaudin was ranked the second-best offensive defenseman by Chicago’s scouting staff after Ian Mitchell this offseason. While his offensive game continues to improve, Beaudin will need to fix a few issues next season.
His defensive game could always get better and Beaudin has had penalty trouble throughout his career. He took 33 PIM last season in Rockford and more than 45 PIM in each of his last two seasons in the QMJHL.
Beaudin will likely return to the IceHogs whenever the 2020-21 season starts. He’ll be a top defensemen for Rockford and should get more experience playing quarterback on the power play. He’ll look to improve in his own end and add to his production in his second professional season.