2022-23 Player Review: Jake Bean played 14 games for Columbus last season and is officially at a crossroads
Jake Bean's injuries may have cost him a roster spot for next season.
Jake Bean missed 14 games during his first season in 2021-22, sidelined with a groin injury. This season, Bean played just 14 games before his season was ended with a shoulder injury that ended his season and set him up for a massive 2023-24 in the last year of his deal.
Bean was brought in from Carolina with the second round pick (44th overall) acquired from Chicago as part of the Seth Jones trade in July 2021. Since arriving, Bean has 8-23-31 in 81 total games over two seasons for the Blue Jackets - Bean was brought in to help bridge the gap between Seth Jones and the next generation of Jackets' defensemen (at this writing Jiricek, Svozil, Mateychuk, Cuelemans, Berni, Knazko to name a few) but he has failed to be available enough to help bridge that gap.
Bean is under contract for one more year heading into 2023-24 and will suddenly have competition for his place in the top six - with Werenski, Jiricek, and Gudbranson (due to contract status alone) presumably penciled in, that leaves three spots open for any and all of the names mentioned above plus Andrew Peeke and Nick Blankenburg. If Bean is still here in the fall (the sheer log jam of names could force a trade), he will be in a battle for a roster spot.
5v5 CF%: 45.0
5v5 FF%: 43.0
Jake Bean is heading into the final year of a 3 year, $6,999,999 contract that carries a $2,333,333 cap hit and will leave him an RFA after next season. Bean will be looking to perform in a huge way this season to earn his next NHL contract, whether that is in Columbus or elsewhere. The pedigree is there - Bean is a former first rounder, 13th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, but he is running out of time to prove his upside.
Jake Bean scored his only goal of the season on October 20 as the Blue Jackets won 5-3 at home over the Nashville Predators.
His shoulder injury - Bean played only one more game than Zach Werenski this season, the second fewest of any defenseman on the roster to open the regular season and lost an entire year of development heading into a contract season. 2023-24 looms large for Jake Bean.
Much like Zach Werenski, it is nigh-impossible to assign a letter-grade to Jake Bean. He played just 14 games, put up six points, and then missed the final 68 games due to injury. If you want to hold injuries against him, it's fair, but it's hard to assign a grade or blame to Bean.