May 30, 2012
MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced today the signing of Sea Dogs defenceman Nathan Beaulieu to a three-year NHL contract.
In 53 games with the Sea Dogs, Beaulieu finished tied for fifth in scoring among Quebec Major Junior Hockey League defencemen, setting a Sea Dogs record with 52 points. That total included 41 assists, tied for third among QMJHL rearguards and also a single-season Sea Dogs record for a blueliner. The six-foot-two, 190-pound defenceman scored four of his goals on the power play and one while shorthanded. He recorded 150 shots on goal, maintained a plus-41 rating and served 100 penalty minutes. This season, Beaulieu helped the Sea Dogs to their third consecutive Jean Rougeau Trophy (awarded to the QMJHL regular season champions), as well as their second straight President’s Cup (awarded to the QMJHL playoff champions). He was a nominee for the Emile Bouchard Trophy as QMJHL Top Defenceman for 2011-12, and a QMJHL Second-Team All-Star.
Beaulieu tied for third among league defencemen with 15 points (4 goals, 11 assists) in 17 playoff contests, with one power-play goal, a plus-27 and 32 penalty minutes. Beaulieu added four assists in as many games at the MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament in Shawinigan. He suited up for Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship in Alberta, posting one assist, 13 shots on goal and 16 penalty minutes in six games.
The 19-year-old from Strathroy, Ont., recorded 152 points (37 goals and 115 assists) in 233 games over four seasons with Saint John, setting team records for career assists and points by a defenceman. He was part of the Saint John squad that won the Memorial Cup in 2011.
He was drafted in the first round, 17th overall by the Canadiens at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Last September Beaulieu took part in his first training camp with the Canadiens, appearing in three preseason games, recording one assist and three shots on goal before being returned to the Sea Dogs. As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.