There is plenty of internet chatter taking place about Boston Bruins prospect and Michigan Wolverines center John Beecher. Some folks are unhappy with the production he put up last season as a sophomore (4 goals, 4 assists in 16 games).
Some of those same folks disregard the fact that he hurt his shoulder in preseason and that he was trying to play through it. How serious was it? It required surgery so, yes it had an affect. Trust me. It was yours truly that broke the news of his surgery.
Good friend Anthony Kwetkowski (Bruins Network on Twitter), reported that there was talk about Beecher turning pro after his season was over in the NCAA. It’s possible the Bruins and Beecher had those conversations and the surgery put an end to those talks.
Now that we got that out of the way, what can we expect? The Wolverines are a star-studded squad with some great NHL Prospects and top picks from the 2021 NHL Draft (Owen Power, Matty Beniers, Luke Hughes, Kent Johnson). A national Championship is not out of the question for the Wolverines – they are that good.
With all that star power on the squad, we don’t know what kind of role Beecher will be asked to take on. Beecher himself has talked about a more defensive role. And there is nothing wrong with that. Better to learn it now then in the NHL. But what it speaks to is that there are no ego problems with Beecher, and that he is coachable. He wants to help his team win and will take on any role asked of him to help his team. Those are the types of players you want on your squad.
Of course, when you take on a larger defensive role, the offensive production tends to drop. You can bet that the stat watchers will be out in full force claiming the lack of offense shows the Bruins once again reached when they selected him 30th overall in 2019. Maybe they are right. But it shouldn’t be based on what happens this coming season.
Players that are 6-foot, 3-inches and weigh in at 209 pounds and skate like Beecher does do not grow on trees. Hopefully he will get in some good offensive situations, get some time as a net front presence on the powerplay and play a key role on the penalty kill.
Pure speculation on my part here, but I do believe Beecher turns pro following this season.
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