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BLOG: Day by Day

 

It’s one of hockey’s greatest clichés. It’s become so commonplace that it’s often ignored, but highly valued to the players that use it:

“I’m going take it day by day.”

Nicolas Beaudin of the Drummondville Voltigeurs believes wholeheartedly in that moniker and has channelled that mantra throughout his time in the QMJHL.

The highly skilled 18-year-old defenseman from Châteauguay, Quebec, takes pride and appreciates the day-to-day process of development and progression the game has to offer.

The 2018 NHL Draft Prospect has certainly experienced his fair share of ups and downs throughout his journey in the QMJHL.  From playing on a rebuilding Voltigeurs team, to experiencing the rigours of the league and the position as a 16-year-old, to the pressure of his draft year… Beaudin has seen it all.

“When I arrived in the league at sixteen, we were rebuilding the team. Dom [Ducharme] and Steve [Hartley] are very good coaches and when they arrived last year, I bought into their system and now this year I’m continuing to improve,” said the young soft-spoken defenseman

The highly touted young rearguard only saw action in 26 regular season games and three playoff games in his rookie season, and only came away with two points to show for it.

However, the 2016-2017 campaign would be a break out one for Beaudin after he amassed 41 points in 64 regular season games for the Voltigeurs.

Beaudin boasts tremendous individual skating ability comprised of top-end speed and edge control. The skilled puck-moving defenseman possess outstanding vision, offensive instincts and hockey sense. Beaudin has an active stick defensively and has really improved that aspect of his game this season.

The blueliner is currently tied for third overall amongst the QMJHL’s top-scoring defensemen with 64 points (12goals, 52 assists) through 66 games.

Quick to downplay all the attention he’s been garnering this season, he believes it hasn’t been a distraction as of yet.

“I’m taking things day by day, I’m just trying to get better every day”, Beaudin said. “I have good teammates, and they are definitely helping me in that area as well.”

Beaudin credits the unwavering family support he’s received throughout his journey in the game for his success. And though he may downplay the attention he’s getting, he is aware of the significance and opportunity being drafted into the NHL will mean to him and his loved ones.

“It means a lot. My dad was a coach at the Junior AAA ranks for two decades [and he] is very passionate about the game, so I do talk to him about the draft sometimes”, he admitted.

“From a young age I learned a lot from him”, Beaudin added. “But both my parents sacrificed a lot of things for me, so I’m just trying to go day by day and enjoy every day.”

Beaudin feels he has grown and matured into a more accountable two-way defenseman this season and believes that process has to continue to make the jump to the pro ranks.

“At the beginning of the year, Dom didn’t like my start in my own zone. He told me that I have to be a two-way defenseman to play pro, and to play in the NHL”, he said.

“I’ve taken more pride in playing defensively, but I’m still trying to get points and help my team offensively. I’m trying to be good in my zone, and after that jumping into the rush”, explained the blueliner.

While June’s NHL Entry Draft may be in the back of his mind, Beaudin remains focused on the stretch drive and the potential of a long playoff run towards the President Cup.

“It’s exciting, we have a good young team and I think we have a shot [at winning] this year and next year”, he said. “There’s [a few] games remaining in the season and playoffs are going to be big for the team and me personally.”

One thing is for sure. Beaudin, along with his fellow Voltigeurs teammates, are definitely gearing up for the post-season with the best possible playoff mentality: by using a day-by-day approach.

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