Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Habs Sign Nathan Beaulieu to Entry-Level Deal

The Montreal Canadiens announced today the signing of defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to a 3-year entry-level contract.  While it was a matter of time / a formality, since Beaulieu will certainly be making his pro debut in the Fall rather than returning to the QMJHL as an overager, the signing is notable as he becomes the first player given a deal by new GM Marc Bergevin.  Official release:

Beaulieu, Montreal's first round selection last June, had an up-and-down year, but one full of good experiences.  His Saint John Sea Dogs won the QMJHL championship for a second year in a row, and thus returned to the Memorial Cup, where they were unable to repeat as winners, falling in the semi-final to host Shawinigan.  Beaulieu also got to represent Team Canada at this past winter's World Junior Championship, though he spent much of his time as a powerplay specialist / 7th defenseman.

Beaulieu will join the Hamilton Bulldogs in the Fall as part of a strong in-coming class of rookie pros that includes Jarred Tinordi, Morgan Ellis, Michael Bournival, Brendan Gallagher, Patrick Holland, and Greg Pateryn, all already under contract with the team.  Fans should temper their expectations in his regard, as while he has good size, amazing skating ability, slick passing, and good offensive instincts, he still has a lot to work out in his game, notably in his own end and in maturity.  But he has time.  He'll be one of the youngest players in the AHL when the season begins at age 19, eligible to play because of his December birthday.

Congrats Nathan!  Feel free to send him your best wishes via Twitter, @n8theggr8.

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