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Player Review: Nathan Beaulieu

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Should the Jets keep their seventh defencemen?

Winnipeg Jets v Calgary Flames Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

There was one time when you could see why Nathan Beaulieu was a first round pick. But then he played under Sylvain Lefebvre. And then Michel Therrien. He played alongside Douglas Murray and Francois Boullion. You could no longer see the spark. And then he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres, a team where players go to die. And then he came to to the Winnipeg Jets. Yeah, not a good chance of success.

There was a time when Beaulieu was basically a hockey version of the movie The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. He could have a fantastic game and then undo all his hard work with one massive brainfart. It was a talent unto itself. And now he cannot even do that. Oh how the Jets wish he could still do that.

What happened to Beaulieu? Read the first paragraph and you can probably infer where it all went south. But Beaulieu has been a servicable seventh defenceman for the Jets for the past couple of years. Does he need to return? Nope, seventh defencemen are a dime a dozen. He filled the role and he filled it fine, but the Jets should probably move on.

As you can see, there was one potential around Beaulieu and the Montreal Canadiens might have had something in him. But things fell apart this year and there are a million reasons why. The biggest thing is Beaulieu has always been inconsistent shift to shift that he can be dominating and then terrible. His variability was stunning when he was younger and now he tends to just be bad. However, he wasn’t bad in Buffalo just inconsistent. It seems like he has fallen off the ledge this season and I think it might have something to do with the system Paul Maurice runs as this has been prevalent in a lot of the players for the Jets.

Should the Jets bring Beaulieu back? If he is the cheapest option for the 7/8 slot then the Jets could bring him back, but this isn’t a make or break thing. If he comes back? Fine. If he doesn’t? Fine. The only issue would be if they pay him too much. He should probably be under the $1 000 000 that they paid him this year.