This is the first in a series of in-depth profiles covering each member of the Colorado Avalanche 2019 draft class. The entire series can be found HERE.
After passing on QMJHL players for the three previous drafts the Colorado Avalanche went back to a familiar place to draft Alex Beaucage at 78th Overall with their second selection in the third round. Beaucage is a 6-foot-2 and 192 lbs right shot right wing who was on the younger side of the draft class as his 18th birthday is not until July 25th. Beaucage follows previous Avalanche draftees from Rouyn-Noranda in Julien Nantel, JC Beaudin and (for a moment) AJ Greer as the organizations are very familiar with each other.
It was a special season for Beaucage and the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies as they had a flat out dominant season with a 59-8-1 record culminating with a QMJHL title after losing just four contests in the post season. The cherry on top was the first Memorial Cup title for Rouyn-Noranda as they beat host Halifax who also fell to the Huskies in the league finals. Rouyn-Noranda has built a powerhouse franchise in a small French speaking market through drafting, development and focus on core values. Each Huskies player has a high work ethic, strong two-way play and relies on intelligence to play the game at a high pace, which Beaucage embodies all these qualities.
Beaucage enjoyed a breakout season increasing his point totals from his 37 points in his rookie year to 79 points including 39 goals in all 68 games in 2018-19, which as good for third among full-time members on the team. He added another 16 points in the same number of playoff games plus a goal as seen below and assist at the Memorial Cup. Despite this consistent production Beaucage was an expected third round selection as he slotted at 64th on NHL Central Scouting’s North American rankings and 75th on Bob McKenzie’s list.
— QMJHL (@QMJHL) May 24, 2019
As is evident from the goal scoring production the best aspect of Beaucage’s game is his NHL quality shot. Illustrated in the video below he uses different approaches and angles to fire the puck. His shot generation was one of the best in the QMJHL with 240 shots on goal, which was good for 11th in the league. Only 29 of Beaucage’s 79 points were converted on the power play and places his 5v5 production rate as one of the highest in the 2019 draft class.
I don't have a great read on the rest of his game, but I do know Alex Beaucage (#2019NHLDraft) can really shoot. Variety of shots (wrist, snap, one-time), can shoot off either foot, good space recognition & release/shot selection, gets to the net. 26 goals in 46 games. pic.twitter.com/MzVnjws8LZ
— Mitch Brown (@MitchLBrown) January 23, 2019
At development camp Beaucage stood out with that shot as he used it to make his mark in drills. It was in the 3-on-3 game where Beaucage really shined as he scored two goals in the scrimmage which really showed off his hands, ability to move into space and that quick release. In a game type setting is where other parts of Beaucage’s cerebral gifts made an appearance. His hockey sense and defensive ability in particular were nice to see especially from the youngest player at the 35 person development camp. Skating is a weakness and is an attribute Beaucage will have to improve before he takes on the challenge of professional hockey but he already has a strong base of play.
The Avalanche should anticipate Beaucage to spend two more years in Rouyn-Noranda finishing up his junior career. An AHL season or two is also a fair expectation before looking for a NHL opportunity. Beaucage projects as a middle six goal scoring winger. His intelligent and responsible game should give him a spot in the lineup and just how much that talented shot translates will determine Beaucage’s upside as well as how much his skating improves.
Finally, a shift by shift compilation courtesy of Rudo3.
Credit EP Rinkside for the photo