Sabres' Beaulieu is very happy to get traded here

June 18, 2017 - 5:22 pm

Buffalo, NY (WGR550) - When Nate Beaulieu started his season in Montreal, he was on the top pair with newly acquired Shea Weber. By the time he finished the season, he was a healthy scratch in the final game of the playoff series against the Rangers.

Beaulieu was acquired by the Sabres on Saturday for a third-round pick in next Saturday's NHL Draft. He said he knew it was coming, “No, I kind of figured it was going to happen before 3:00 and I knew they were probably going to trade me before the whole freeze, so it didn't come as a huge surprise.”

Not playing in the final game told Beaulieu where he stood in the organization. He said, “Yes, that was kind of the cherry on the top. It was a situation where it seemed like it was over with I guess and I wasn't expecting to be put into that situation, so I felt pretty strongly that a move like this was going to be made.”

With things in Montreal pretty well over, the 24-year-old is getting a chance with what was one of the worst defenses in the National Hockey League. So far Jason Botterill has brought in Beaulieu and Victor Antipin. They take over for Dmitry Kulikov and Cody Franson. The newest Sabre is really exited about it, “I see a huge opportunity. I'm very fortunate I'm staying close to home and Buffalo has such a young, bright future and talking to management yesterday, I feel like I'm going to fit right in right away and I'm just very refreshed and excited because they seemed super happy to have me.”

The new head coach is Phil Housley. Any defenseman that can skate with the puck should be ecstatic that he's his coach. Beaulieu said, “I don't know much about Phil besides the storied career he had. I had a chance to talk with him shortly yesterday and I'm just so excited in terms of the style of play and it's going to fit right into my game, so I have a huge opportunity here to really grow my game.”

Beaulieu played 10 career games against Buffalo and was pointless. He said he learned a lot about this team by preparing for them, “The biggest thing was how energetic it was to play against them. Young teams are scary to play against because you don't know what to expect, but with the youth, I'm very excited to be part of that situation.”

“Every team in the league knows that Buffalo is young and has a great future ahead of them, so I'm very fortunate to be playing with them.”

A Montreal reporter asked him if he held a grudge or has bitterness towards the Canadiens. He said, “It gives me motivation, that's the way I look at it, but I'm not going to get into much with Montreal, I'm focused on Buffalo.”

Beaulieu played with Josh Gorges and Brian Gionta in Montreal. He said he heard from them right away, “Josh Gorges was there my first year in the league and O'Reilly is from where I'm from, so I see him in the summer and I got messages from a couple of guys on the team, so it was nice to hear.”

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