Nathan Beaulieu made a trade request to the Sabres management. Not playing much and it’s a contract year.— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) January 17, 2019
For a trade to make sense for the Jets when it comes to a left-side defender, the player must be better than Ben Chiarot. While Beaulieu would be on this third team in three years (Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres, new team X), he is a talented defender who could help the Jets in the short term. The Jets have looked off this year and having a defender who can improve them and is most likely available for cheap could be a boon.
Beaulieu is not quite a positive possession player, but he is a strong defender all the same. He is someone who can drive play at times and is a flawless skater. However, he is prone to making really obvious brain farts that can lead to goals against. With Beaulieu, you take the good with the bad.
The other, more concerning part of Beaulieu’s game is his temper can get the better of him. He has been known to get into ill-advised fights and in general lose his cool when he needs to remain calm. This could be a bad combination with the Jets inability to draw calls.
Nathan Beaulieu would be relatively low. He was traded to the Buffalo Sabres for a third round pick and his value has certainly fallen since then. Therefore, the cost is probably no more than a fourth-round pick or a prospect like Marko Dano, who is clearly not in the Jets long-term plans. At that cost, it should be an easy trade for the Jets for an expiring contract.
I will admit that I like Beaulieu as a player, but I also think he is flawed. There is a reason why the Habs traded him to a divisional team for a third and why the Sabres are not playing him anymore. That said, he is far better than Ben Chiarot and that is what the Jets need in the short term.
Trading for a defenceman like Beaulieu (low-cost rental) would also benefit Sami Niku. It is obvious that because of Tucker Poolman being out with a concussion that Niku is the Jets first call up. What is troubling is when he is called up, he does not play unless there is an injury and he losing valuable development time that could be spent in the AHL.
The Jets should explore trading for Beaulieu or a player like him. It would be a short-term fix, but you can contend for Stanley Cups with short-term fixes.