The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Mile High Hockey community. Eleven writers and 480 readers ranked players under the age of 25 as of September 1, 2019 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.
As far as NHL prospects go, it’s not the norm for a player to win a Memorial Cup in their draft year, but that’s what Alex Beaucage did last season. Although a strong regular season, a fiery playoff run, and solid Memorial Cup showing wasn’t enough to elevate him higher in the draft, the Colorado Avalanche saw enough potential in Beaucage to take him in the third round in June.
Beaucage is an active player in his own end, willing to sacrifice is body to block shots and be involved in puck battles. Beaucage anticipates developing plays well and his high IQ allows him to get inside positioning on opposing defenders in spite of his skating. A lot of scouts compared Beaucage to Nolan Foote, who was taken in the 2019 first round by the Lightning. Both are finishers with hard shots whose skating needs improvements if they want to be successful professional hockey players.
He’s not the fastest player by any means, but once Beaucage gets going, he’s difficult to stop. Beaucage is a strong puck handler who can find the open areas of the ice easily. An interesting thing about Beaucage’s skating is that while his stride is choppy and awkward, his edges are extremely smooth and he can change directions on a dime if necessary. He can use his edges to free himself from defenders’ coverage and get open for a shot.
Beaucage’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies were consistently the best team in the CHL last season and deserving Memorial Cup champions. However, Beaucage’s point totals (39 goals and 78 points in 68 games) may have been a by-product of playing on such a good team. Beaucage’s main linemates last season were Montreal Canadiens prospect Joel Teasdale and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Peter Abbandonato. Abbandonato, then an undrafted overager, was the main driver of offense on that line, and Teasdale acted as the finisher.
With both players having aged out of the QMJHL, Beaucage will have to prove that his point production last season was no fluke, and that he can replicate that success with anyone. The Avalanche will want to see that Beaucage has the ability to drive offense for the Huskies (or any other team he may get dealt to). If he can take that step next season, Colorado could have another late-round gem on their hands.