On Tuesday afternoon, the Blackhawks called up their second 2018 first round pick, Nicolas Beaudin, from the Rockford IceHogs.
Beaudin was drafted using the draft pick the Blackhawks acquired from the Nashville Predators in the Ryan Hartman deal. That deal also brought back forward Viktor Ejdsell, who is currently playing in Europe.
In the AHL this season, Beaudin has played in 59 games, registering 18 points (3 goals, 15 assists) during that time. Beaudin has played more of a two-way game since being drafted by the Blackhawks in 2018.
Coming out of juniors, Beaudin was profiled as a puck-moving defenseman who brought an offensive flare to the ice. He posted 69 points in 68 games during his draft-year campaign and became a first round pick. In year two, Beaudin developed his two-way game more. The point numbers were almost better on a per-game basis (56 points in 53 games), but his plus/minus went from a +27 in 2018 to a +60 in 2019. Plus/minus isn’t a perfect stat, but in junior, it can be a good judge of defensive ability.
Whether Beaudin is going to play on Wednesday or Friday remains to be seen, as the IceHogs don’t return to action until Saturday against their rival, the Chicago Wolves. This would be the perfect opportunity for Beaudin to draw into some games and give a player such as Nick Seeler or Slater Koekkoek a night off.
This move is puzzling however, as Lucas Carlsson is practicing once again. However, the injury to Adam Boqvist likely means Beaudin gets the nod over Seeler to replace Boqvist and that we won’t be seeing Boqvist any time soon.
Ultimately, the Blackhawks did call up a defenseman. However, this is likely to get a look at Beaudin against NHL action with the Hawks’ season all but over.
The Blackhawks return to action tomorrow night, March 11, against the San Jose Sharks at the United Center. Puck drop is scheduled 7:00 p.m. CDT.