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First steps

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
BROSSARD – Nathan Beaulieu realized a lifelong dream on June 24 when the Montreal Canadiens made him the 17th overall selection at the NHL Entry Draft. On Thursday morning, he checked another item off his bucket list.

Nathan Beaulieu comments
The second half of the Canadiens’ development camp kicked off this week and Beaulieu was in Brossard to get his first taste of life in the NHL. The 19-year-old defenseman also got to familiarize himself a little more with the dressing room he’s hoping to call home sooner than later.

“It’s been so busy these last few months,” admitted Beaulieu. “Two days after we won the Memorial Cup we had the combine and then I had to get ready for the draft. It’s been a whirlwind since then, but I’m just really happy I got to enjoy it with my teammates and it’s something I’ll never forget.

“It was crazy travelling all around and interviewing with different teams but it’s a little different now that I know where I’m going,” he added of his less-hectic July schedule. “I also know what my goal is and that’s to play for the Montreal Canadiens. It’s time to get down to work and my goal is to make this team.”

Before he gets started working towards lifting the Stanley Cup with the Canadiens, Beaulieu got to take some time to soak in the excitement of winning the Memorial Cup with the Saint John Sea Dogs this spring.

“We actually had a party planned but the Cup didn’t make it to the plane,” he cracked. “We had the party without the Cup but we got it the next day. It was a Monday so my parents were at work and my buddies and I took it to the beach and had some fun with it and swam with it, but I guess there wasn’t room in the cargo space on the plane so the Cup was a bit late arriving.”

The 6-foot-3 blue-liner will now have a matching Cup ring to go along with the one his father Jacques won with the London Knights in 2005. Jacques isn’t Nathan’s only connection to the Knights, either. He’s also been soaking in some sage advice from Canadiens 2010 first-round Draft pick, Jarred Tinordi.

“Jared is a great player and we haven’t known each other long but we’re already really good friends,” explained Beaulieu who trains with Tinordi in the summer. “He has nothing but great things to say about this organization – he was really positive about the team and the staff and the facilities and the city and everything about being part of this organization.”

While Beaulieu has had a chance to step back and relax a little bit since being drafted, he knows he still has his work cut out for him for another goal he has in mind this year.

“The Hockey Canada camp is from August 2 to the 8 and it’s something [Jonathan] Huberdeau and I were talking about yesterday,” he explained. “Growing up, every kid wants to put that Canadian jersey on and represent their country. I have one Canadien jersey on now, but the other one would be great too.”

Vincent Cauchy is a writer for Translated by Shauna Denis.

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