On Friday night the Boston Bruins selected 18 year old Center John Beecher of the US NTDP. Beecher is committed to play for the University of Michigan come fall.
I mentioned Beecher as a potential prospect for the Bruins to select in the second part of my Bruins offseason outlook.
The numbers for John Beecher throughout his US NDTP career don’t exactly jump out at you in the stat book. But don’t be alarmed, he was on the team for a reason. Beecher has good skating and scoring abilities, but not quite as good as the other centers on the team. Never getting to play the role of more than a third line center, Bleecher still had a stellar career. Bleecher was stuck in the shadows of other elite center prospects Trevor Zegras, Alex Turcotte, and the first overall pick in the 2019 NHL draft Jack Hughes. Hughes, Zegras, and Turcotte all tend to be more along the lines of the scoring and playmaking type. Beecher can do a little bit of everything, but he also brings something to the table that most players at his age and position cant: Size.
Tale of the tape
Beecher weighs in at an impressive 200 pounds while standing 6’3. At the young age of 18, he’s already got a leg up on the competition. Size isn’t something you can teach, but skating, shooting, and defending all are things you can. Beecher’s size has already become something that he uses to his advantage. The ability to shake off defenders, stride passed defenders, and bully defenders in front of the net have all become a part of Beecher’s offensive game. Beecher’s size helps on both ends of the ice however. Paired with his good skating skills, his size also tends to be a nightmare for opposing teams while he’s on the forecheck. A large body that isn’t afraid to bang on the boards, Beecher could someday become a key part in the Bruins forecheck game. Beecher is also known for his willingness to block shots.
One thing that comes as a surprise to many when looking at the size of John Beecher is his playmaking ability. His height, wingspan, as well as his skating abilities make it easier for him to make a play. The ability to shake off defenders makes it easier for Beecher to cycle the puck. Beecher’s ability to cycle the puck could eventually find him on the power play at the NHL level. The speed and footwork for Beecher are very good for his size. He can keep up with most guys at the NHL level when fully developed. While being able to out skate some players, he can also out battle players as well. Beecher has a good sense of control with the puck around the goalie. His puck control, combined with size, and good hands could someday be a nightmare for opposing teams.
PATIENCE. We already know that John Beecher’s size is NHL ready. But given his young age of 18, his skills might not quite be there yet. Skating D-1 college hockey, and eventually skating with Providence in the AHL will provide excellent learning opportunities for Beecher. Going back to the point that Beecher was in the shadow of other centers, it will help if he can center a top or second line. Seeing him with top line talent could show off his playmaking abilities, as well as his scoring ability. All in all I think the Boston Bruins made a very solid pick tonight. Being able to land a talent like Beecher should have the Bruins very happy with their 30th overall selection.
The second through seventh rounds of the 2019 NHL draft will take place on Saturday afternoon. The Bruins will pick four times on Saturday as of Friday night.