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John Beecher is the perfect mix of speed and size, but how much upside could he really have?

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Speed...Size...Fools will tell you that you can only have one or the other. John Beecher disagrees.

Rena Laverty

Analysis:

I’m gonna be unfair for a minute and say I’m not quite sure what Boston fans want more on this earth other than for their teams to win. And if the Bruins lose? It’s because they didn’t have something. If they lose to a skilled team, they need more speed. Take an L from a more physical team, bigger, tougher players should start getting on the roster. (read:Bad but has a cool hits highlight reel. Don’t @ me. I haven’t heard a good suggestion yet.)

Sometimes I wish a player would come along and just be both. Some Chocolate to your chunky peanut butter.

Friends, John Beecher is that exact reese’s cup.

Beecher’s 2018-19 was funny, because in spite of that size and rather impressive sense of forechecking pressure, he was a rookie on a murderer’s row of talent starting with Jack Hughes, Alex Turcotte, Trevor Zegras and Matthew Boldy. Needless to say, the most obvious part of his game was largely going to be his size first and his middling production as a depth player second.

Beecher’s claim to fame was being a difficult player to contain due to being a good few inches and pounds larger than his contemporaries. He played with elite level speed and attacked both the puck and the net aggressively, always trying to find the next good shot or opportunity for the National Development Squad. This was supplemented by skating that, while the acceleration is a bit off due to being so big, featured long smooth strides that made him deceptively harder to keep up with than you’d expect.

And while he definitely looked like a million bucks, an underrated part of his game was his backchecking and penalty killing, which he was great at because...you guessed it, he was one of the few huge guys in the sport to be able to skate. He was yet another really good and interesting part of the US Dev team...that was apparently unbeatable all year and this was him being

As for Beecher’s criticisms? Well, he didn’t play much with the Development Team’s destroyers of souls and positivity like Zegras or god forbid Jack Hughes, so it’s hard to say whether or not he’s holding back. What is lacking on the other hand...is offensive creativity. His shot? Good! His passing? Also good! Offensive instincts? Great! Is he gonna find a truly fantastic pass through a seam and some bodies?...Not really. His stick handling? Merely okay. He’s gonna try and do the middle-of-the-road, safe pass and the shot that has a pretty reasonable chance of going in rather than forcing opposing defenses to respond to a net-front scramble or create a situation where the goalie is gonna move first. In general, his upside largely lives in how he can translate his shot, his size, and his play to the pro level, and that’s where coaching, and far more importantly time as a Michigan Wolverine could help him big time.

He’s already got what fans want, but if taken, the B’s will have to make his development about turning him from a supplementary piece to a bona-fide 200 foot player. He’s projected for late 1st/early 2nd right now, so if the B’s really want to take a chance and get this kid up to their standards, he wouldn’t be the worst choice.

Rankings:

  • #32nd by The Athletic
  • #45th by HockeyProspect.com
  • #33rd by Future Considerations
  • #52nd by ISS Hockey
  • #30rd by McKeen’s Hockey
  • #49th by Central Scouting among North Americans
  • #49th by EliteProspects.com
  • #41st by TSN/Bob McKenzie

Statistics:

Season Team League Games Played Goals Assists Points Penalty Minutes
Season Team League Games Played Goals Assists Points Penalty Minutes
2016-17 Salisbury School USHS-Prep 30 12 12 24 N/A
2017-18 USNDTP Juniors USHL 34 9 16 25 18
US National U17 Team USDP 60 17 24 41 44
2018-19 USNDTP Juniors USHL 27 6 14 20 64
US National U18 Team USDP 63 15 28 43 88