Note: The following piece was written by David King (CanadianIslesLifer at LHH), who made the pick in our SBN NHL Mock Draft.
It came down to two prospects with only one team left to pick prior to Lighthouse Hockey. Our scouts identified Bean and right-winger Julien Gauthier of the QMJHL's Val-d' Or Foreurs as the "Best Players Available," with Bean getting the edge. We believed Broad Street Hockey would take one of the two -- and they did -- and prepared to draft whichever one was left on the board.
Already owning the NHL rights to Bean's defensive partner Travis Sanheim, Philly would be more than familiar with Bean. Would Bean's availability entice BSH to abandon fantasies of Tim Kerr with speed? Also factoring into the equation, Philly has one of the best D prospect pools in the league, if not the league. If BSH deemed Bean and Gauthier close, they just might lean towards need.
Gauthier is the prototypical Flyer: A 6'4, 225 pound power forward. He's not only a huge kid who plays a physical, aggressive game, he's a sniper (Q caveat applies), albeit a bit of a streaky one. If you're not sold yet, he has speed to burn for a player his size. The knock on Gauthier is that he's not a play maker, and depends on others to put him in a position to score.
As predicted, BSH chose Julien Gauthier, we immediately took Jake Bean.
Who Is Jake Bean?
The two most comparable defensemen Islander fans are likely familiar with are Nick Leddy (6', 199) and Morgan Rielly (6'1, 205). I'll focus on Rielly (Moose Jaw Warriors), as both he and Bean played in the WHL. Currently, depending on which website you cite, Bean is listed at 6'0, or 6'1, weighing in at 173 pounds. Though undersized for the NHL, Bean already has the height and frame, he just needs to fill out. Given Bean just turned 18 on June 9, he'll have a few years to bulk up while developing into an NHLer.
Hockey Strengths: Speed, I.Q.
Bean is an offensive left D, whose game depends on speed, which he has in abundance. Bean is used in all situations. He excels in all three zones, demonstrates sound, defensive positional play and can quarterback a power-play. He scored more goals this past season, than all other WHL defensemen, in his draft year no less. He has an excellent first pass and is a great play maker overall. Scouts rave about his hockey I.Q. and ability to anticipate the play.
The only knock on the kid is physicality, but he's 6'0 (or 6'1, depending who you believe), so his eventual NHL size is going to be in the 200+ pound range. Not to mention, he plays in the WHL. It's not like he isn't used to facing physical play (albeit not against men).
Contrasting Bean's boxcars with Rielly's
Note Bean's boxcar stats in his draft year, are actually comparable or better than Rielly's were, in Rielly's first post-draft year.
- Bean (2014-15): 51 GP. 5 goals, 34 assists for 39 points. 2 PIMs, + 20. Playoffs: GP: 7; G: 2; A: 4.
- Rielly (2010-11): 65 GP. 6 goals, 22 assists for 22 points. 21 PIMs, -15. Playoffs: G.P. 6; G: 0; A: 6.
- Bean: (2015-16) 68 GP. 24 goals, 40 assists for 64 points. 28 PIMs, +8. Playoffs: G.P. 5; G: 0; A: 2.
- Rielly: (2011-12) 18 GP. 3 goals, 15 assists for 18 points. 2 PIMs, +6. Playoffs: G.P. 5; G: 0; A: 3.
Morgan Rielly was injured for most of his draft year, which was a factor in his having slipped to the Leafs at 5th overall. Granted, Rielly's point-per-game pace in his draft year is a small sample size, you'll note that Bean's 64 points in 68 games in his draft year is just under a point per game, with a larger sample size.
Rielly: (2012-13) 60 GP. 12 goals; 42 assists for 54 points. 19 Pims, -8. No playoffs (did play for Marlies of the AHL).
If you suspect Bean's numbers may be inflated due to playing with defense partner and Flyer's prospect, Travis Sanheim, rest easy. While Sanheim was away playing for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships and out of the lineup, Bean took over the PP and the offense. He literally carried his team.
How Others Rank Him
If you're still not convinced, I could tell you Jake Bean shares a birthday with my mother, but you'll probably be more interested in reading Bean's scouting report at Elite Prospects:
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. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)
Also courtesy of Elite Prospects, links to Jake Bean's draft ranking by five other popular online websites: