Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his rankings of the Top 30 draft-eligible prospects of 2016. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2016 NHL Draft, which will be held at First Niagara Center here in Buffalo on June 24 and 25.
#15. Jake Bean – LHD, Calgary (WHL)
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Bean put himself on the map this past season as a highly mobile, two-way defenseman who plays a simple game in his own zone and can quickly gallop up ice into the transition game.
He’s not at all weak defensively, but the fact that Bean scored 24 goals and dished out 40 assists certainly overshadows his complete framework, which is quite impressive given how he was never even drafted into the Western Hockey League.
Bean is at his best offensively when he finds space to act as a fourth forward, especially when leading the rush using his speed and patience to hold the puck until the right outlet becomes available. He is consistently poised and mature beyond his years, giving him a special differentiating trait that not all puck-moving defenders in the class can stay they have.
On the defensive side of the puck, Bean is very composed and positional in nature with an active stick that shuts down lanes. He is not considered a physical defender, instead employing a calculated approach to regaining possession to kick the transition game into gear.
He’s probably best described as a work in progress, but the year-over-year growth in his game suggests that the home defensive base can and will be developed in short order.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline and an updated organizational depth chart, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects).