Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Nathan Beaulieu Autographed Card

I told you back in December I'd be ready when Nathan Beaulieu scored his first NHL goal, and that happened tonight (just a few minutes ago, actually), in a 4-2 Montréal Canadiens loss to the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa. His goal came against rookie Andrew Hammond, who made 40 saves on 42 shots for the win, in his first NHL game.

Beaulieu started the season by playing just 10 minutes against the Toronto Maple Leafs after winning his job ahead of Jarred Tinordi and Greg Pateryn, and three times even spent less than 9 minutes on the ice, but since his last call-up, he's been a steady presence, surpassing the 20-minute mark three times and stepping up to fight the Leafs' David Clarkson after a dirty hit on his partner Sergei Gonchar last Saturday night.

It's nice to see he's coming out of his shell and entering a certain comfort zone - one in which he's comfortable in displaying his skill set, not one where he takes things for granted, like earlier in the season, earning him a trip back to the Hamilton Bulldogs.

His days of riding the bus and sleeping in cheap motels are probably over, as he'll need to clear waivers to be assigned to the AHL starting next year, but that just means guys who don't put the effort in sit in the press box, and those aren't fun times for players. Still, I'm confident he'll keep climbing the spots and progressing, probably to the #4 defenseman position next year, and #2 in three years' time, when Andrei Markov retires as a Hab.

Here's my favourite card of his, showing him from his time dominating in the LHJMQ with the Saint John Sea Dogs (in their white home uniform), from In The Game's 2010-11 Heroes And Prospects set (card #46):
It's signed in black sharpie, from a trip I made to Hamilton, in 2012-13, I think. My little brother got it signed because it feel weird to ask for autographs from kids when you hit the ripe old age of 30.

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