The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Mile High Hockey writing staff. Our writers, plus a special vote from the readers, ranked players under the age of 25 as of September 1, 2017 in the Colorado Avalanche organization. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked.
Jean-Christophe Beaudin was Colorado's fourth selection at 71st overall in what is looking to be a strong 2015 NHL entry draft class for the organization. He is a right shot center who can also play wing. Beaudin concluded his QMJHL career with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies which saw him score 77 goals and 215 points in 195 games, good for 7th all-time in franchise history.
While Beaudin has just completed his second 30 goal and 80 point campaign, he's still flying under the radar a bit as far as his offensive potential. He combines his sharp vision and high hockey IQ with strong skating and is a gifted playmaker at center. He is just as much of a danger on the penalty kill as the power play; he scored five shorthanded goals including one 3v5. Beaudin has really worked to improve his shot, which is now one of his weapons as he is a threat to pass or shoot. His eight goals and 20 points in 13 games was good enough for top 10 in league playoff scoring despite going only two rounds deep into the playoffs. With an additional 16 goals and 44 points in 38 career playoff contests, Beaudin has shown that he has been a consistent and reliable scorer through one run to the President's Cup and multiple post season series.
On the defensive side of the game Beaudin is just as strong as he uses his high IQ and skating to excel in positioning and ability to create takeaways. TVA Sports' Mikaël Lalancette recommended Beaudin for the Guy Carbonneau Trophy, which is the QMJHL's best defensive forward award. Lalancette also points out that Beaudin was the active league leader in career +/- and he finished his QMJHL career at +94, which is also the Rouyn-Noranda franchise all-time leader. Beaudin is strong on faceoffs as well as he finished the season with one of the highest percentages in the league at 59.8 percent. Beaudin is an all-situations player and will bring that with him to the pro game.
With the expected graduations of JT Compher and Tyson Jost from the prospect pipeline to the Avalanche, Beaudin becomes the organization's best center prospect in the pro system for now and the foreseeable future. He has finished a strong junior career and is ready for the transition to pro hockey where he will have to show that his offense and versatile tools can translate to the next level. If development progresses as planned, Beaudin should solidify himself as a top center in San Antonio and be ready for a callup by the end of the season. Ultimately his versatility might get him into the Avalanche lineup at wing but roster fluidity and progress will dictate that outcome. Beaudin will be an exciting prospect to watch as he embarks on his professional career.
A playoff goal in Rouyn-Noranda's 3-1 victory vs. Chicoutimi
Special thanks to Hugo Lacroix Photographe