Montreal Canadiens: Laval Rocket Defenseman Nicolas Beaudin To Play For Canada In Spengler Cup

Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Montreal Canadiens prospect and current Laval Rocket defenseman Nicolas Beaudin will represent Team Canada at the 2023-24 Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland. 

Beaudin was acquired via trade from the Chicago Blackhawks, in exchange for Cameron Hillis. Beaudin was the Blackhawks 27 pick in the 2018 Draft and was touted as one of the best powerplay quarterback options in the draft. Hillis was selected 66 in the same draft and was viewed as a potential depth player.

The 24-year-old Chateauguay, QC native played 39 games for the Rocket in 2022-23. He managed 25 points, including 23 assists - a testament to his passing ability. Beaudin has yet to make his Canadiens debut but continues to grow in Laval.

To start the 2023-24 campaign, Beaudin has six assists in 13 games. Surely he will be vying to leverage his early season strong play with Canada. He has experience against professional players in North America, which will benefit him against competition from all through the European hockey leagues.  

It’s unclear where Canada will deploy Beaudin or who he will slot alongside on the blue line. But I would like to think he was selected because of his offensive skills. With that in mind, it might be a short wait before he finds himself on one of the two powerplay units. 

At 5’11” 170 lbs, he isn’t a big, physical defender, but a mobile defender who loves to make plays. He is at his best when he can scan the ice and make defenders zig when they should have zagged. The passing allows him to support the rush with his forwards in transition. 

The bigger ice surface should present him with plenty of time and space. With the increase, he should be able to create more high-danger scoring opportunities. And he will be able to create plays and separate from defenders a little bit easier.

With the Habs' defensive side of the prospect pool coming along well, Beaudin could put himself into a higher position on the depth chart with a strong performance for Canada. His mobility and offensive tendencies should play into his favour on the much larger European ice. And it should be a perfect time for the Habs management to assess his skills and where he is in his development.

Congratulations Nicolas, the Habs family and all of Canada are pulling for you and the team to take home a Gold Medal.