The Boston Bruins hopefuls are getting their feet wet before training camp with the opportunity to showcase their talents in the 2023 Prospects Challenge.

In his first full pro season with Providence last year, John Beecher recorded nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points in 61 games. What the stat line doesn’t show is the growth of the 6-foot-3, 215-pound forward.

Boston’s AHL affiliate head coach Ryan Mougenel told reporters after rookie camp practice at Warrior Ice Arena on Wednesday that Beecher’s growth was something the Providence Bruins came to rely on.

“By the second half (of the season), he was our go-to guy down there for a lot of situations,” Mougenel said, per team-provided video. “His skating obviously separates him from most of his peers down there. The ability to hang on to a puck and get in and be first to pucks is something that he did really well and then the one thing we really liked about John by the end of the year, was his willingness to play a physical brand of hockey.”

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Beecher told reporters he worked on improving his skills in the offseason in the hopes of making an even bigger impact with the Bruins organization and give himself a chance of making the opening night roster with Boston.

“(The coaches) just want to see me come out, compete,” Beecher said per team-provided video. “They just want to see all the details taken care of, day in and day out. … Pretty much playing my game and kind of let the little things take care of themselves and see where we are at the end of the day.”

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Having played in the Prospect Challenge and attended Bruins training camp last year, Beecher feels more comfortable this time around.

“I think last year, I kind of came into camp kind of wide-eyed and staring around,” Beecher said. “I think this year, I have a better idea of what I have to do now that I’m here and what it’s gonna take so I’m excited.”

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Beecher is a natural center but did play quite a bit of left wing last season, so he is prepared to play wherever the Bruins see fit.

“I enjoyed it. Kind of be able to get that experience under my belt,” he said. “But, I’ve been up the middle for so long now that I’m probably just more comfortable there. But, at the end of the day, it’s just whatever they need.”

It has not gone unnoticed by Beecher that Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci retiring in the offseason opens opportunities heading into camp to compete for a roster spot.

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“I think it’s definitely something that you look at and it’s enticing,” Beecher said. “Everybody coming into camp wants to have a shot and this year, there’s a bunch of opportunity. So, just go into camp and try my best.”

Featured image via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images