With the 78th pick in the 2019 NHL entry Draft, the Colorado Avalanche took one of the youngest players in the draft, picking up high-scoring QMJHLer Alex Beaucage with their fifth selection of the weekend.
Beaucage definitely caught some eyes in his second QMJHL season, putting up the fifth-highest point totals among all first year draft-eligible players in the Quebec league. He was good for 39 goals and 79 points in just 68 games, finishing the regular season third in scoring on the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
Beaucage #NHLDraft #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/WnsVDLQQGT— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) June 22, 2019
Despite his impressive totals, though, his stock didn’t get quite as high as the numbers would seem to warrant for a handful of reasons. He played on a line with a pair of older, higher-scoring players in overager Peter Abbandonato and mid-season acquisition Joël Teasdale, so there were questions as to how much he’ll be able to thrive next year when both of them are gone. He also raised some eyebrows with a bit of a heavy stride when he skates, which could mean difficulties getting up to a good top-gear speed when he tries to transition to the pro game.
Still, he won’t turn 18 until almost two full weeks after the draft. So for the Avalanche, who already snagged four quality players in the first three rounds alone, he’s a safe bet as a high-risk, high-reward pick at 78.
He was considered an “underrated forward to watch” in the draft by EP Rinkside’s Ryan Biech, and it seems like this could be a pick that pans out well if Beaucage improves his skating a bit.
“Peter Abbandonato was a driver of the Huskies offence this season and once they acquired Joel Teasdale, the whole line took a big step forward. It was easy to get behind the idea that Beaucage was riding the coattails of those two as the trio formed one of, if not the best line in the QMJHL. But I do feel that takes away from what Beaucage is as a player.
As mentioned in the scouting report section, there is a whole lot to like about the offensive side of the game but his skating and defensive play leave a little bit to be desired.”