On the eve of Team Canada's World Junior development camp I decided to post a brand new one-game report on Nathan Beaulieu. Beaulieu was drafted in the first round of the 2011 NHL entry draft. He's a strong skating defenseman with good vision and puck-management skills. He will be joined at the development camp by fellow Habs prospects Brendan Gallagher and Michael Bournival.
Beaulieu had a quiet but efficient game. He played substantial minutes, as he lined up on the second powerplay and penalty-killing units. His high numbers can be explained not only by his strong play, but also by the weakness of opponent; the game scouted took place in the first round of the 2011 QMJHL playoffs against the underdog Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
Through 2 games previously scouted Beaulieu had an average grade of 71. He improved on his average by 7 percentage points. His passing was the strongest part of his game, as he completed an incredible 29 of 32 total pass-attempts.
Overall Risk/Reward Rating
Beaulieu had an average overall risk/reward rating of 1.91 going into the game. He improved on that rating by 0.45 points, while posting the top rating ever recorded by a Habs prospect. He was active in every zone; particularly for a defenseman, as he engaged in 4.27 events per minute of ice time. He used his speed to win puck-battles, as well as open up passing lanes.
|EVENTS/ MIN||4.27||EVENTS/ MIN|
Offensive-zone Risk/Reward Rating
Coming into the game, number 28 had an o-zone rating of 0.40. Beaulieu fell short of his average. His o-zone rating suffered because of his inabilty to get pucks through to the net. Like many young defensemen, Beaulieu failed to move laterally along the offensive blueline in order to open up shooting lanes. He simply wound up from where he was and drilled the puck into the shot-blocking forward. This skill will likely come with experience, but in the meantime it resulted in 6 of his attempted shots being blocked.
|EVENTS/ MIN||1.18||EVENTS/ MIN|
Defensive-zone Risk/Reward Rating
Though two other games, Beaulieu's d-zone rating stood at 1.17. He was able to improve on that rating by 0.38 due in large part to an incredible 87% defensive-zone passing percentage. He also managed 6 short-handed dump-outs, while beating opposing players 1on1 in the defensive-zone with all 6 of his attempts. He demonstrated a solid stick; posting 2 takeaways, 2 blocked shots, and 1 blocked pass.
|EVENTS/ MIN||2.09||EVENTS/ MIN|
Entering the game Beaulieu averaged a 0.29 neutral-zone risk/reward rating. He was able to nearly double his previous average during the game scouted. As in other zones, his rating was buoyed by his solid passing skills. He completed all 6 of his n-zone pass-attempts, while winning 5 of 7 n-zone puck-battles.
|EV/ MIN||1.18||EVENTS/ MIN|
Raw data from 5-1 win over Cape Breton on March 29th, 2011
|SKI +||2||SKI +|
|PK DUMP+||6||PK DUMP+|
|PK DUMP-||PK DUMP-|
|PS THRU||1||PS THRU|
|OZ PS BL||6||OZ PS BL|
|POINTS X2||2||POINTS X2|