The Bruins know two or three years down the road they might be looking at life without star centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, or at least those two cornerstones will be taking lesser roles.
In an effort to make sure they have at least one center of the future in the pipeline the Bruins used their first-round pick, No. 30 overall, to select John Beecher, a 6-foot-3, 212-pound behemoth from the USA Hockey National Development Program.
Playing on NTDP squad that was deep at center, including No. 1 overall pick Jack Hughes, Beecher had 43 points (15 goals, 28 assists) in 63 games.
“Obviously size, athletic, skating ability,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney told NBCSN after making the pick. “We think there’s a higher upside there, offensively.”
Sweeney also mentioned that Beecher scored more in the second half of the season.
The 18-year-old is headed to Michigan this season.
He was ranked No. 49 by Central Scouting Services among North American skaters and No. 39 among all prospects by Recrutes.ca.
Earlier this week, Sweeney addressed the need to make sure Bergeron and Krejci’s replacements are in the system.
“I think that [Jack> Studnicka’s a player that has offensive attributes that we’re going to see him be a pro this year and develop. He won’t be rushed along, he’s got areas in his game he needs to continue to evolve and get stronger,” Sweeney said. “Again [Trent> Frederic’s another center, so we have some within the organization, but it’s hard to replace those guys. Those guys are elite, elite hockey players and have been such for a long period of time. You generally have to select them, draft them, develop them and put them in there and let them grow.”
Beecher doesn’t have much more room to grow, but the Bruins will definitely do what they can to make sure he develops.
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