Despite being among the top five in almost all offensive categories among first-time draft eligible QMJHL players, there are still a lot of questions about Alex Beaucage’s game.
There have been suggestions that he was riding the coattails of two older players and thus his offence is a result of the lofty quality of teammates. There is some truth to that, but Beaucage is still a very skilled player that many people appear to be dismissing.
He is also one of the youngest players in this draft class and doesn’t turn 18 until a month after the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
Here at NextGen Hockey, we’ll take a closer look at the Quebec-born winger.
- Age/Birthdate: 17 / July 25, 2001
- Birthplace: Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
- Frame: 6-foot-2 / 192 lbs
- Position: Right Wing/Left Wing
- Handedness: Right
- Draft Year Team: Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
2018-19 Stat Rundown
|GP||G||A||P||INV%||5v5 Pr INV%||5v5 ePr60||SEAL||Sh/GP||Sh%||5v5 eTOI||GF%||GF%rel||GD60 rel||XLS%||Top XLS%||XPR|
Beaucage is a fantastic shooter with a variety of great shots in his arsenal. He is very good at getting his shot off even when off balance or transitioning his weight from one side to other. It’s really impressive how he can get so much velocity off when not in a set shooting position. Beaucage can also do that while attacking in transition or moving laterally across the zone.
His playmaking skills are another interesting facet to his offensive game as he is very good at getting the puck to his teammates in a position that they can get a good shot or chance off. He appears to be thinking shot more often than not, but has displayed soft hands.
Speaking of tracking the QMJHL, check out the patience from Alex Beaucage.
— Will Scouch (@Scouching) May 12, 2019
The Trois-Rivieres native is a good stickhandler that adjusts his shooting lane very well and also displays fantastic patience with the puck.
I don't have a great read on the rest of his game, but I do know Alex Beaucage (#2019NHLDraft) can really shoot. Variety of shots (wrist, snap, one-time), can shoot off either foot, good space recognition & release/shot selection, gets to the net. 26 goals in 46 games. pic.twitter.com/MzVnjws8LZ
— Mitch Brown (@MitchLBrown) January 23, 2019
The major concern about his game is the skating. His strides appear to be clunky and heavy when trying to generate speed and he lacks agility. Beaucage does possess good balance on his legs though – so although he may not be the quickest skater, he can be leaned upon and stay upright.
His defensive game is also a bit of a work in progress but overall isn’t a major concern. As expected, he can be a bit slow to cover his man and can get lost when the pace picks up but if he can improve that skating, then it shouldn’t be an issue.
Overall, Beaucage is a fantastically patient, crafty, and skilled offensive player that has been able to overcome his skating issues at the junior level.
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.
We can look at the scoring breakdown for the year. As expected, the trio contributed to each other’s offence quite a bit:
But taking another step further, accounting for rate offence with and without his talented teammates.
We can clearly see that Beaucage’s offensive production didn’t drastically change when he was away from Abbandonato, nor did Abbandonato’s production when away from Beaucage. Similar story for Teasdale.
That suggests that they were all driving the offence with and without each other.
Beaucage’s offence was right in the mix for team leaders in points per hour and goal share at 5-on-5.
The biggest takeaway from the information above is that the narrative about him getting his success solely because of his QoT seems to be a bit exaggerated.
When we look at Beaucage’s production, we get the following information from pGPS:
An impressive 39% of his cohorts went onto becoming NHL regulars.
Furthermore, Beaucage has plenty of statistical matches in both top six and bottom six roles. That expected likelihood of success is among some of the top prospects of this draft class.
There is also a narrative that scoring in the QMJHL is easy and thus being above a point-per-game player isn’t something to be excited about, but these types of models .
Lastly, his SEAL of 1.30 is among one of the highest in this draft class and is sandwiched between some of the top available prospects:
That placement among the 2019 draft eligible elites in SEAL just reinforces the point that Beaucage did some really interesting things on the offensive side and shouldn’t be so easily dismissed.
Ultimately, his skating issues are more of a concern to me that his quality of linemates. He will need to improve that aspect of his game in order to be successful in professional hockey. I really like the way he thinks the game, the way he shoots the puck, and how skilled he is with possession.
Beaucage has all the makings of a being a great second round pick for any team that could pay off as a sniper in professional hockey. The problem is that the AHL is littered with players like him, that are fantastic shooters but just don’t have the foot speed. Whoever takes him will have to feel confident that their player development system can get him where he needs to be.
Raw data for the charts used in this article came from eliteprospects.com and theqmjhl.ca.
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