Boston Bruins fans probably won’t be seeing John Beecher playing in a regular-season NHL game anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth knowing about the 18-year-old’s game.
The Bruins used the 30th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft to select the United States National Team Development Program forward, who is committed to the University of Michigan.
Mere minutes after getting selected by the Bruins, Beecher expressed excitement to learn from the Bruins’ group of veteran forwards. And while his offensive numbers aren’t necessarily the most stunning (though not bad, he slashed 15-28-43 in 63 games with the US Under-18 team this past season), he has a lot of great characteristics in his game.
Beecher described his two biggest strengths to Bruins.com’s Eric Russo.
“I’m a big power forward, my size and my speed are my two assets that I use,” Beecher said, as seen on NESN Sports Update. “So I’m able to gain momentum for my team and I’m a pretty exciting player to watch.”
Don Sweeney gave a pretty thorough analysis of Beecher and what the Bruins liked about him.
“We looked at the athleticism, the size, the skating ability and just felt that he can obviously play two positions, something that we’ve talked about an awful lot,” Sweeney said. “There’s growth left in his game, he’s already a big, strong guy. And like I said, the skating ability, the ice that he can cover, you look at the second half of his year and the production without playing in primary productive roles, obviously in a very elite group of players. Our guys did a lot of work in terms of the character of the player and we believe there’s growth still available. And if he doesn’t necessarily pop offensively because he hasn’t been put in those situations, he’s (still) going to be a real hard guy to play against.
“Just the small areas of the game (are what needs improvement),” Sweeney said. “He’s still kind of raw in some of those areas, the smaller details of the game. Generating pure offense (for example), because he hasn’t been put in a lot of those situations. So we’re going to hopefully — they look at him at Michigan and see him as a top two line guy and we’ll see the growth come from there hopefully.”
Beecher is a pretty big kid, already standing 6-foot-3, 209 pounds, and he has proven to be an incredibly dynamic player with great speed, so Bruins fans have plenty to look forward to.