Defenceman Jake Bean has gone from an unknown commodity to a promising NHL prospect in two short years.
The undrafted rearguard, who was listed by his hometown Calgary Hitmen in 2014, has impressively amassed 103 points over his first two Western Hockey League (WHL) seasons.
A bona fide scoring threat every time he carries the puck into the offensive zone, Bean is an intelligent blueliner with elite skating ability and exceptional poise with the puck.
His 64 points topped all WHL draft eligible defencemen, while he led all league defenders in goals (24), power play goals (12) and game-winning goals (6).
In fact, his 24-goal output set a Hitmen franchise record for most goals by a defenceman in a single season.
It’s been a whirlwind year for the Calgary product who not only ate up a ton of minutes for the Hitmen in every possible situation but represented both the WHL in the Canada-Russia Series and Team Orr in the NHL/CHL Top Prospects Game.
“At certain times it was definitely hard,” admitted Bean. “But as long I just talked to the guys here and focused on the Hitmen that was the easiest thing for me to do. Over the course of the season it wasn’t too bad. Not everyone gets to experience this so I just tried to take it in stride and enjoy it the whole time.”
Named the WHL Eastern Conference’s Most Sportsmanlike Player and a nominee for the Canadian Hockey League’s Top Prospect Award, Bean missed the World U18 Championships with a broken foot that he sustained in a pre-tournament exhibition game, which has also forced him to be a spectator at this week’s NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo.
Bean, whose father John is Chief Operating Officer of Calgary Sports & Entertainment Corporation, is ranked 15th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
If selected by the Flames, Bean would join Hitmen teammate Pavel Karnaukhov – a fifth round pick at last year’s draft – as two Calgary prospects developing under the same roof.