Generally speaking, scouts believe that there are four players that make up the first tier of blueliners available in June's draft. Mikhail Sergachev has been shooting up the rankings, Jakob Chychrun has been polarizing, while Olli Juolevi has been at the forefront since the World Juniors. Joining these three in the discussion is Jake Bean, a shifty offense-first blueliner from the WHL.
I can't help but think of Kris Russell, despite the difference in height.Though Russell was considered an offensive blueliner coming out of junior, in the NHL he was able to develop into a strong shot-blocking defender who relies on positioning to excel. If Bean can follow a similar path, becoming stronger in his own zone, without sacrificing too much of his offensive game, he'll be an impact NHLer.
Current Team: Calgary Hitmen, WHL
Date of Birth: June 9, 1998
Place of Birth: Calgary, Alberta
Weight: 172 lbs
A shifty and intelligent defenceman that plays with panache and poise. An excellent skater that is a good puck-carrier up the ice. Makes very good decisions with and without the puck, and plays strong positionally. Works hard and doesn't give the opposition much to work with, but could stand to be a bit more assertive during high pressure situations. That being said, he is not a one dimentional player. He displays natural talent in the offensive end, but also plays a complete defensive game in his own end. He has a proactive stick and boxes the opposition out, limiting lanes. All-in-all, the type of all-around defenceman that you want to have on the ice as much as possible. - Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects
Bean is a slick, pass first, puck moving blue liner who is absolutely deadly in transition. He has quick feet that allow him skate with the puck and the vision to quickly find his passing options. Has solid composure and will calmly skate the puck out of pressure before head manning a pass up to streaking forwards. His defensive ability needs work as right now it consists of an active stick he uses to try to shut down opponents as they’re coming down wide on the rush. Needs some added strength and to improve his defensive positioning.- Future Considerations
A Good Fit in Columbus?
The Jackets are slowly building a very good blueline, with Seth Jones and Ryan Murray already on the roster, and Zach Werenski, Dillon Heatherington, Gabriel Carlsson and Michael Paliotta on the way. Bean would add an element that's currently lacking in the pipeline- pure offense from the blueline. Sure, Werenski will put up points, but Bean is the sort of player that could QB the powerplay, and with the right defensive partner, can do damage at even strength.
Bean in Action