NoVa Caps has been preparing key “player previews” for the upcoming season as the Washington Capitals begin to gear up for the start of training camp in two weeks. Today, we continue our player previews with center Jay Beagle.
2016-17 Season Recap
After the Capitals acquired Lars Eller from the Montreal Canadiens last summer, Jay Beagle, who played in 81 games last season, dropped down to the No. 4 center from the No. 3 spot in 2015-16. Beagle, who will turn 32 on October 16, scored an NHL career high 13 goals, 30 points, and a +20 rating. He also had a 13% shooting percentage and 2:46 SH TOI per game, also career highs. Despite Beagle’s career numbers during the regular season, Beagle struggled after the All-Star break and into the playoffs, where he failed to score a point and had a -5 rating.
Beagle won 56.4% of the draws he took, good for 10th in the NHL. He has won more than 50% of the faceoffs he has taken in eight straight seasons. Capitals Coach Barry Trotz, recognizing the importance of controlling the puck in critical situations, put Beagle on the ice to start overtimes, including Game 5 of the Toronto series, when he won the draw and immediately came off the ice for Justin Williams, who potted the game winner.
2017-18 Season Preview
Jay Beagle will be going into the final year of a 3-year contract worth $5.25 million ($1.75 million AAV). The 4th line is expected to get a makeover this year, with the departure of Daniel Winnik and Tom Wilson expected to move up to the 3rd line. Beagle is expected to be joined by newly-signed Devante Smith-Pelly and a Caps prospect, most likely Nathan Walker or Riley Barber. Beagle will need to continue to be an X-factor on the penalty kill and winning faceoffs. He is also expected to make up for part of the offense the team lost during the offseason.
Jay Beagle’s Top Play of 2016-17
Beagle needs to continue winning big draws for the team and give them strong shorthanded play. Trotz used him in big situations, and Beagle must continue to increase his production as he did the past few seasons if the Caps are going replace Justin Williams‘ and Marcus Johansson‘s production. He had 100 shots last season and scored on 13 of them, so Beagle needs to shoot the puck more frequently.
Less of this:
After the All-Star Break last season, Beagle just managed to put up 3 goals in the final 33 games of the regular season. The Caps can’t afford inconsistency from anyone, including Beagle. As noted earlier, Beagle didn’t produce anything in the playoffs and had a -5 rating. Beagle must play the way he did before All-Star Break, where he tied his previous career high of 10 goals and 20 points set in 2014-15.
Key Goals for the 2017-18 Season
- keep being reliable on the penalty kill and faceoffs
- stay consistent
- shoot the puck more
- produce at least 12 goals and 30 points
- be a mentor for rookies next to him
- turn it up in the playoffs
Once Again, Jay Beagle Answers the Call
News From Practice: Tom Wilson Grants a Birthday Wish, Jay Beagle Skates with his Son
Facing a Potential Third Period Collapse, Jay Beagle Said No
Other Player Previews:
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Brooks Orpik
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Andre Burakovsky
Washington Capitals Player Preview: T.J. Oshie
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Tom Wilson
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Lars Eller
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Matt Niskanen
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Dmitry Orlov
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Evgeny Kuznetsov
Washington Capitals Player Preview: John Carlson
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Nicklas Backstrom
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Brett Connolly
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Braden Holtby
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Devante Smith-Pelly
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Philipp Grubauer
By Harrison Brown