Johnny Beecher won’t surprise the Boston Bruins when, not if, he contributes to their cause.
Bruce Cassidy suggested as much Wednesday when he offered reporters a scouting report on the Bruins prospect. Cassidy believes Beecher, who joined the Bruins organization Wednesday on an Amateur Tryout Agreement, possesses a combination of size and speed that might help him make an impact in the future in Boston.
“I know he’s a dynamic guy, lot of speed, checks well,” Cassidy said at a press conference, as seen in team-provided video. “Hoping to build his offensive game. I know he gets a lot of breakaway opportunities. Will that translate in the NHL? Time will tell. His speed’s not going to change here; will players adjust better to him? He’s an asset: first-round pick, played in a winning environment, so he’s going to help us. How soon, that’s to be determined.”
The Bruins selected Beecher in the first round (30th overall) of the 2019 NHL Entry draft but have yet to sign him to an entry-level contract.
He recently finished his third season at the University of Michigan, which he helped reach the Frozen Four, which took place last week in Boston. He has recorded 19 goals and 20 assists for 39 points and a plus-14 rating in his college hockey career to date.
Beecher, 21, will play for the Providence Bruins for the remainder of the 2021-22 AHL season. Boston general manager Don Sweeney in 2019 hailed Beecher’s athleticism and versatility but noted the forward still was “raw” in some areas.
The Bruins organization now has an extended chance to gauge Beecher’s growth ahead of an important offseason.