Anthony Beauvillier excited to take on veteran role with the Canucks

Already 490 NHL games into his career, the 26-year-old Beauvillier is happy to help support his younger teammates.

Anthony Beauvillier excited to take on veteran role with the Canucks

Feature photo: Getty Images

Something told Anthony Beauvillier the Vancouver Canucks were going to be a perfect fit.

It was not long after the trade on January 30, which saw Beauvillier go from the New York Islanders to the Vancouver Canucks in a trade that sent Bo Horvat the other way, that a feeling of optimism swept over him.

Once he got over the initial shock of being dealt, the winger’s mindset shifted to the opportunity that awaited him in Vancouver.

“I don’t know what it was in particular, but I felt like this would be good for me,” said the native of Sorel-Tracy, Quebec. “I was super excited at the chance to play with these guys, where I could have the chance to be a more veteran player. The guys treated me great right from the start, and I really like the system that we have.”

Selected 28th overall by the Islanders in the 2015 NHL Draft, the 26-year-old had played his entire NHL career with the Islanders prior to arriving in Vancouver, a total of 457 regular-season games.

Now, Beauvillier is being tasked with providing scoring support by using his speed to wreak havoc in the opposition’s end on a Vancouver team looking to make inroads in the highly competitive Western Conference.

And as he previously alluded to, Beauvillier is eager to lend an ear to support the team’s younger players.

“I’m right in the pocket, not old, but not young,” he said with a laugh. “It’s a good spot to be in. The bottom line for me is to help my teammates in any way and to be a good teammate. On the ice, I want to lead by example and do everything I can to help us win.”

Currently spending some offseason time in Montreal, Beauvillier is looking forward to heading back to his NHL home, a city he has quickly developed an affinity for.

He expects that connection to continue to grow after playing only 33 games with the Canucks so far.

“Being born on the East Coast and playing on the East Coast with the Islanders, you don’t get to experience the West Coast that much other than road trips. The views, the city itself … when you get outside, the air, everything, it’s amazing. You go on walks by the water and there is always something that catches your eye.”

Beauvillier’s praise for all things Vancouver does not end there.

“The fans are great, super passionate. Playing in a Canadian market is always great. The fans are die-hard, and the Canucks are what the city is all about. It’s good to be part of that. A few fans have recognized me, but it’s all been love.”

His first order of business, hockey-wise, for the 2023-24 season, is to help Vancouver get back into the playoffs.

The Canucks have been on the outside looking in over the past three campaigns.

“I feel like I can take another step in my game. As a team, I think we can turn a lot of heads. We have the right pieces and I believe we have what it takes. I’m not the only one excited on our team. I feel like everyone is looking forward to the season.”     

Vancouver opens its season with a home game against the Edmonton Oilers on October 11.

“I want to take things day by day. Going through a trade is never easy. It puts a lot of stress and pressure on you. I thought I did a pretty good job managing that stress and now it’s a new year and there are new opportunities. I’m still going to take it game by game. I want to enjoy every second of my time in the NHL and I’m enjoying it in Vancouver. It’s been a great fit.”