The Vancouver Canucks are shaking things up ahead of their rematch with the Nashville Predators, with head coach Rick Tocchet set to make forward Dakota Joshua a healthy scratch. Anthony Beauvillier will take Joshua’s place on the third line, and if Beauvillier doesn’t start to turn things around himself, he’ll be on the chopping block next.
The Canucks brought Beauvillier over to Vancouver last year as one of the centerpieces in the Bo Horvat trade, and the former New York Islander actually played really well in his abbreviated season out west. Beauvillier played in 33 games for the Canucks last season, scoring nine goals, 11 assists, and 20 points. He also scored 20 points in 49 games with the Islanders with the same stat line, thus giving him the first 40-point season of his NHL career.
Beauvillier has been an NHL regular since the 2016-17 season, and he’s established himself as a reliable complimentary scoring winger. The problem, though, is that he scored 20 goals in the 2017-18 season, and hasn’t reached that threshold since. Although he’s played nearly 500 regular season games, Beauvillier is still only 26 years old, but he needs to find that next gear in his game.
After being pigeonholed on the fourth line for the last few games, Beauvillier is going to need to take advantage of this new opportunity and additional ice time. The Sorel-Tracy, QC native is goalless through eight games this season, and recorded his first point of the year in the overtime loss to the New York Rangers the other night. If Beauvillier can’t find away to get things moving in the right direction quickly – starting with the game against Nashville – his future in Vancouver suddenly looks very murky.
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The former first-round pick played his best hockey next to Andrei Kuzmenko and Elias Pettersson, but it appears that opportunity is now gone. For now, Beauvillier is going to have to cut it playing with the depth guys against the Predators.