Editorials

Blackhawks: Why sending down Nicolas Beaudin to Rockford was a mistake

By Justin Klawans
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 13: Nicolas Beaudin #74 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates a goal with teammates during the second period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the United Center on February 13, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 13: Nicolas Beaudin #74 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates a goal with teammates during the second period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the United Center on February 13, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Blackhawks made some big roster moves today, assigning a number of players to the AHL and switching up the team’s taxi squad. One of these moves involved sending down prominent young defenseman Nicolas Beaudin to the minors.

In a press release, the ‘Hawks announced that Beaudin had been re-assigned to the team’s minor league affiliate, the Rockford Icehogs. Beaudin was one of a few notable players to be headed to Rockford, including goalie Collin Delia, who was assigned to the Icehogs on a conditioning stint.

It is unknown how long Beaudin will stay with the Rockford Icehogs. However, sending him down seems to be an extremely puzzling move. Despite still basically being a true rookie (he played one game in the 2020 season), Beaudin has been playing very well as of late. If anything, he has certainly performed and looked better than some of the other defensemen on the team, so sending him to the minors is quite strange.

Beaudin has played 155 total minutes this season, averaging just over 14 minutes per game, and has also blocked 11 shots. He is also a +3 on the season. I don’t typically view a player’s +/- as a worthwhile stat, as it doesn’t take any special teams situations into account. However, Beaudin’s +3 actually ranks third on the entire team, so it is worth mentioning.

In addition, Beaudin’s shooting percentage is currently the best on the ‘Hawks at 40 percent. While he has only taken five shots on goal, he’s scored on two of them, which obviously helps the team as well, and is definitely a notable stat for a defenseman.

Sending down Nicolas Beaudin is a mistake for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Speaking of defense, he can also throw his weight around a bit, contributing six hits. He also has a defensive point share of 0.6, which ranks just outside of the top ten on the team. Why general manager Stan Bowman would send a young, promising player like Beaudin down to the minors is a bit of a head-scratcher, especially given the recent success the team has had.

It is important to remember, though, that Beaudin’s positive play is from a very small sample size, as he’s only played 12 total games with the Blackhawks. Obviously, he is still young and inexperienced and has a lot to learn about the NHL game just like any rookie. However, the defense as a whole has been shining bright lately, so why send Beaudin down when he is just getting into the groove of things? Let him keep playing and keep improving.

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Colliton mixed up the lines a lot in Chicago’s last game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and maybe he saw something from Beaudin he didn’t like. Whatever the reason for sending him to Rockford, hopefully, Nicolas Beaudin will be back with the ‘Hawks sooner rather than later, because this is a team that is likely better off with him on the roster.

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