For anyone looking for up to the minute Hurricanes prospect coverage, Monday’s Daily Cup of Joe featured initial thoughts on the first 2 games of the Traverse City NHL prospects tourney.
Jake Bean was the Carolina Hurricanes first selection at #13 overall in the 2016 NHL draft. Bean was arguably the most gifted defenseman offensively in the entire draft and received high marks for his skating ability, hockey IQ and creativity. Unless he shocks the organization in training camp, he is likely a couple years away from being NHL-ready and is currently expected to return to the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League for the 2016-17 season.
Menu of Carolina Hurricanes prospect profiles thus far
In case you missed them, here are links to the previous Hurricanes prospect profiles:
Interview with Calgary Hitmen coach Mark French
Mark French is entering his third season as the Calgary Hitmen’s head coach and has guided the team to consecutive 40-win seasons. French’s 21-year coaching career is highlighted by a Calder Cup Championship as head coach of the AHL’s Hershey Bears in 2010. His full bio can be found on the Calgary Hitmen web site.
Canes and Coffee: How would you describe Jake Bean’s game in 2-4 sentences. What are his strengths?
Calgary Hitmen coach Mark French: Jake is a strong all around D-man who can really contribute on both sides of the puck. He possesses very good vision and is capable of making highly skilled plays with the puck. He is proficient on the power play and has a good hard shot that often finds a way to get through.
Canes and Coffee: If he returns to Calgary for the 2016-17 season, what areas of focus/improvement do you see for Bean in the 2016-17 season and over the next couple years as he continues to develop over the next few years?
Calgary Hitmen coach Mark French: Areas for improvement – Game Management/ Managing the risk in his game. Becoming physically stronger especially in small area 1v1’s.
Canes and Coffee: To which NHL player(s) would you compare Jake Bean?
Calgary Hitmen coach Mark French: Cam Fowler
Canes and Coffee: What is something about Jake Bean that might be overlooked and maybe not noted in draft profiles and scouting reports?
Calgary Hitmen coach Mark French: He is a very intelligent and driven person. He is very committed to self improvement and has good leadership instincts.
Comments from Brennen York from Draftgeek.ca
Brennen York (Twitter=DraftGeekHockey), founder of DraftGeek.ca and partner with DUBNetwork.ca which is your source for everything Western Hockey League. Brennen is an Edmonton-based scout focusing on the WHL, AJHL, and Bantam levels.
Canes and Coffee: What are the greatest strengths of Jake Bean’s game that give him the potential to be a top half of the roster NHL player?
Brennen York from Draftgeek.ca and DUB network: If Jake is able to reach his potential we won’t be talking top half of the roster, rather top thirty, maybe top twenty defender in the league. What separates Jake from other defenders, and what makes scouts salivate over him is his intelligence. Coupled with his passing ability, Jake’s IQ makes him a lethal defender from the blue line in. His patience with the puck and naturally calm demeanor allow him to watch for seams opening up from the back end before ripping a pass to an open man. Bean is also an impeccable skater in all regards. His lateral movement along the blue line allow him to be a more effective offensive defender, and his ability to explode backwards means attacking forwards really have to work for it when coming through the neutral zone or one on one.
Canes and Coffee: What are the greatest limitations/areas for improvement in Jake Bean’s game that must be developed for him to become a top half of the roster NHL player?
Brennen York from Draftgeek.ca and DUB network: Strength is he number one thing that held Jake back from being a top five pick. Given his smaller frame, Jake doesn’t play with a ton of power or authority which can be a real detriment to his team when he loses battles in the corner. He also has a tendency of waiting for the perfect passing lane to emerge instead of opting to make a ten foot pass to a forward swinging low.
Canes and Coffee: Which current NHL player(s) do you most see in Jake Bean’s current skill set and development track?
Brennen York from Draftgeek.ca and DUB network: It all depends on his demeanor. Right now, it’s fair to peg him as a Tyson Barrie-like blue liner given his puck-moving and skating ability, however if he does develop a nastier side, given his intelligence level, he could very well round into Duncan Keith form. The safer bet is Barrie, but only time will tell.
Canes and Coffee: Are there any other notes or comments on Jake Bean’s development that you would like to share which are not addressed in the questions above?
Brennen York from Draftgeek.ca and DUB network: Jake is going to be a defenceman the Hurricanes fan base needs to be patient with. He has a ton of elite level tools, however it will take a while before is NHL ready as he is going to need to add a good amount of weight, and develop a more professional type of game. Be patient, you may have a superstar.
Thank you to Calgary Hitmen coach Mark French, the Calgary Hitmen organization and Brennen York from Draftgeek.ca and DUBnetwork.ca for their help covering Hurricanes prospect Jake Bean.