2018-19 Team: U.S. National Development Team (#17)
Date of Birth: April 5, 2001
Place of Birth: Elmira, New York
Ht: 6-foot-3 Wt: 209 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2019 first-year eligible
- The Hockey Writers (Pike’s Picks): 43rd (final)
- Future Considerations: 33rd (final)
- ISS: outside of first round (April)
- Bob McKenzie: 41st (June)
- Craig Button: 45th (June)
Quite often, the buzz around draft time goes towards the glossy, shiny toys. That’s not to degrade the high end, offensively-gifted talents in the 2019 NHL Draft, but rather noting that players that go about their business more quietly often get overlooked.
On a very deep, very offensively gifted U.S. National Development Team, John Beecher is a bit of a throwback. He’s big, he’s smart, and he plays a responsible two-way game and there’s not a lot of flash in the game. He’s usually in the right spot, usually makes the right play, and is the type of player that coaches love.
The challenges for Beecher are two-fold: he’s a big kid who sometimes plays a crash-and-bang style. Because of his size, that often leads to him taking penalties. The other challenge is that he’s so responsible, he’s seemingly conditioned to avoid taking offensive chances. Dating back to prep school, he hasn’t scored at a point-per-game pace for several seasons.
Related: Our Free NHL Draft Guide
In part because of his size and his two-way play, Beecher is a player that coaches will likely fall in love with. That said, they’ll need to be patient with his development as he’ll likely need a bit of time to get used to his frame and work on his skating a bit – if he can add a step to his transition game, it would be helpful at unlocking his offensive potential.
Beecher’s a bit of a project, but he’s such a smart player that whichever organization drafts him will need to work with him to take some chances with the puck. His awareness is superb, but he just needs to build his confidence a bit to unlock his full potential.
John Beecher – NHL Draft Projection
Most likely, Beecher is selected in the first 10-12 picks of the second round.
“One of the more cerebral players in this draft class in that he’s not flashy and doesn’t dazzle you with any particular part of his game. However, with his size and ability to play a complete game, he almost always finds a way to contribute.” – Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet
- Smart positional player with strong situational awareness.
- Once he gets up to speed, really good skater.
- Uses his size well away from the puck.
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Needs to work on his discipline.
- Needs to take more risks with the puck.
- Could stand to work on his first few steps when accelerating.
Other 2019 NHL Draft Profiles
Beecher projects as a middle six center. If he can unlock his offensive potential a bit, he could become more of a power forward than a two-way center. Worst-case, his two-way awareness should ensure he’s at least a decent third line center.
Risk – 1/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense 8/10, Defense 8.5/10
Beecher represented the United States at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the Under-18 Worlds – he captured gold at the U17s and the bronze at the U18s.
Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames and the NHL Draft extensively since 2010 as a Senior Writer for The Hockey Writers and Senior Contributing Editor of FlamesNation.ca. A member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, he lives in Calgary.