- Age: 18, 1998-06-09
- Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- Frame: 6’1″, 172 lbs.
- Position: D
- Handedness: L
- Draft Year Team: Calgary Hitmen
- Accomplishments/Awards: Ivan Hlinka Memorial Gold Medal (15/16), BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
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Bean is a prolific offensive defenseman who combines fluid skating, deft passing and a strong, accurate point shot, and is able to play in all situations due to his excellent hockey sense. Jake is extremely effective in puck retrieval, though he could still improve the speed of his decision making, and is excellent at carrying the puck up the ice through traffic. While not physically imposing, Bean does not shy away from physical contact but he could stand to get stronger so as to match up against bigger forwards more effectively. His overall positioning is solid and he is able to close gaps on attackers due to excellent two-step quickness.
Bean was one of the top defenders in the WHL this season, which is pretty incredible given that he was never drafted into the WHL and has improved by leaps and bounds. “NHL hockey sense, he’s got it,” one NHL GM said. Bean processes the game so well, and when he gets the puck he moves it quickly and into the right spots. He never gets pressured into bad calls by fore-checkers, evading checks and maintaining possession very well. He’s certainly an offensively tilted player, with above-average hands, and high-end vision on top of having a quality shot. Bean has improved his skating a lot from 12 months ago, but his first step or so is still a little slushy. Despite average size and skating, he’s still a decent defensive player due to his hockey sense, and could potentially play on a second PK unit at his peak in the NHL; however, he’s not a real physical defender.
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.
Bean may be the best offensive defenceman available in this year’s draft class. Our 26th ranked Samuel Girard did outpace Bean, but there are questions about his size and if he will be able to make it at the next level. Bean suffers no such shortcomings.
Measuring in at 6’1″ and 172 lbs, Bean is already on his way to having an NHL frame and with some weight added, he should easily fall into the ‘normal’ sizing for a good offensive defenceman.
The Calgary native is an excellent skater who uses that skill to effectively eliminate chances in his own zone, and then has the ability to carry and transition the puck to the offensive zone with ease. He continually has his head up looking for chances to create offence on the rush. Not regarded as physical, but doesn’t shy away from battling down low in the defensive zone.
While on the power play he distributes the puck very well and also has a bomb of a shot that he can unleash if given the space.
All of those skills are complimented by his hockey sense and hockey IQ. He knows how and when to make plays and also when not to force them. It seems at times that he is thinking a few steps ahead of the play.
When speaking with a scout of an NHL team, he specifically made comments about Bean’s hockey sense and using his high skill level to try plays that seem outside of the box. For example, in one specific game, Bean tried what would be considered a low percentage shot trying to pick the top corner on the short side, and scored. It looked like a forced play as he was out of options and got lucky with it. Later in the same game, Bean tried the exact same shot and scored again. It was clear that he had seen a hole that the goaltender was regularly leaving open. I went back and watched that game, which was October 18th vs the Regina Pats, and could clearly see what the scout saw.
Bean had a very good start to his season, peaking just above 1.5 PPG around the 6 game mark before slowing falling down to just below 1.0 PPG. He finished the season with 64 points in 68 games, which was ranked 6th in the WHL behind Ivan Provorov, Macoy Erkamps, Andrew Nielsen, Travis Sanheim and Ethan Bear. All of which are previously drafted, or in the case of Erkamps (as a UFA) have signed an ELC.
Bean was named to the U18 roster, but unfortunately suffered a broken foot before the tournament even began. Team Canada opted to add forward Cameron Morrison from the USHL in his absence.
If we take a look at the pGPS rating for Bean, a very impressive 70% went onto becoming NHL regulars. Ideally, you would like to have more matches, but when we look at which players compared to Bean, it is a very promising list. That includes players like Glen Wesley, Scott Niedermayer, Dan Hamhuis and Darryl Sydor. Regardless of the players he matched with, outside of the top 5 picks, you are not going to get much better bets of getting and NHL defenceman than that.
There have been suggestions that Bean should be in the conversation with the higher ranked defenceman who hail from the OHL and it’s clear you can see why. Bean brings a total package that all teams should covet. We won’t know until draft day if he has done enough to supplant one of those OHL defenceman. If he does fall to where he is expected to go, which is in the mid first, the team selecting him may walk away with the defenceman who will have the largest offensive impact in the NHL of this draft class.