The Winnipeg Jets have re-signed defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to a two-year contract worth $1.25 million.
Jets Take Another Step Toward Bolstering Blue Line
Beaulieu, 27, has spent the past season-and-a-bit with the Jets, suiting up for 56 games, recording one goal and 12 assists for 13 points, dishing out 89 hits, and blocking 56 shots since being acquired from the Buffalo Sabres in February, 2019.
A left-handed defenseman who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs in at 200 pounds, Beaulieu is a sturdy and rugged blue-liner who brings some heaviness and grit to the Jets’ back end when he’s healthy.
Beaulieu had a rotten 2019-20 (he suffered a number of injuries that limited him to 38 games and his dog was also run over and killed) but he will be afforded a fresh start in 2020-21.
The Jets’ d-corp should be much improved compared last season, when they were frankly awful and needed Connor Hellebuyck, who won the Vezina trophy, to bail them out on a nightly basis. Top prospects Dylan Samberg and Ville Heinola will both be pushing for roster spots and Dylan DeMelo also re-signed earlier this week.
Beaulieu was originally selected by the Montreal Canadiens 17th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft but struggled to live up to high expectations. He has 370 career games under his belt between the Canadiens, Sabres, and Jets.
Look for Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff —who still has cap space to work with after shedding Dustin Byfuglien’s and Dmitry Kulikov’s contracts — to keeping working to improve his team’s defensive depth in the days to come.