Nation Network Prospect Profile: #12 Jake Bean

Jake Bean checks in as the 12th ranked prospect in our consensus rankings. 

Bean possesses a very tantalizing skill-set that every team should covet on their back-end. He skates extremely well, reads the play quickly, is lethal on the power play and unlike most offensive defenceman in junior, he can handle himself in his own zone.

It’s amazing that he was never selected in the WHL Bantam Draft and will now likely be the only WHL defenceman to be selected in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

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  • Age: 18, 1998-06-09
  • Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Frame: 6’1″, 172 lbs.
  • Position: D
  • Handedness: L
  • Draft Year Team: Calgary Hitmen
  • Accomplishments/Awards: Ivan Hlinka Memorial Gold Medal (15/16), BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game


20 14 70.0% 0.419 0.2933


NHL CSS ISS Future Considerations HockeyProspect Pronman McKeen’s McKenzie Button
15 (NA) 16 16 17 19 12 12 12

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From Aynsley Scott, Dobber Prospects:

Bean is a prolific offensive defenseman who combines fluid skating, deft passing and a strong, accurate point shot, and is able to play in all situations due to his excellent hockey sense. Jake is extremely effective in puck retrieval, though he could still improve the speed of his decision making, and is excellent at carrying the puck up the ice through traffic. While not physically imposing, Bean does not shy away from physical contact but he could stand to get stronger so as to match up against bigger forwards more effectively. His overall positioning is solid and he is able to close gaps on attackers due to excellent two-step quickness.

From Corey Pronman, ESPN:

Bean was one of the top defenders in the WHL this season, which is pretty incredible given that he was never drafted into the WHL and has improved by leaps and bounds. “NHL hockey sense, he’s got it,” one NHL GM said. Bean processes the game so well, and when he gets the puck he moves it quickly and into the right spots. He never gets pressured into bad calls by fore-checkers, evading checks and maintaining possession very well. He’s certainly an offensively tilted player, with above-average hands, and high-end vision on top of having a quality shot. Bean has improved his skating a lot from 12 months ago, but his first step or so is still a little slushy. Despite average size and skating, he’s still a decent defensive player due to his hockey sense, and could potentially play on a second PK unit at his peak in the NHL; however, he’s not a real physical defender.

From Curtis Joe, 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.

Our Take:

Bean may be the best offensive defenceman available in this year’s draft class. Our 26th ranked Samuel Girard did outpace Bean, but there are questions about his size and if he will be able to make it at the next level. Bean suffers no such shortcomings.

Measuring in at 6’1″ and 172 lbs, Bean is already on his way to having an NHL frame and with some weight added, he should easily fall into the ‘normal’ sizing for a good offensive defenceman.

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The Calgary native is an excellent skater who uses that skill to effectively eliminate chances in his own zone, and then has the ability to carry and transition the puck to the offensive zone with ease. He continually has his head up looking for chances to create offence on the rush. Not regarded as physical, but doesn’t shy away from battling down low in the defensive zone.

While on the power play he distributes the puck very well and also has a bomb of a shot that he can unleash if given the space. 

All of those skills are complimented by his hockey sense and hockey IQ. He knows how and when to make plays and also when not to force them. It seems at times that he is thinking a few steps ahead of the play.

When speaking with a scout of an NHL team, he specifically made comments about Bean’s hockey sense and using his high skill level to try plays that seem outside of the box. For example, in one specific game, Bean tried what would be considered a low percentage shot trying to pick the top corner on the short side, and scored. It looked like a forced play as he was out of options and got lucky with it. Later in the same game, Bean tried the exact same shot and scored again. It was clear that he had seen a hole that the goaltender was regularly leaving open. I went back and watched that game, which was October 18th vs the Regina Pats, and could clearly see what the scout saw.

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Bean had a very good start to his season, peaking just above 1.5 PPG around the 6 game mark before slowing falling down to just below 1.0 PPG. He finished the season with 64 points in 68 games, which was ranked 6th in the WHL behind Ivan Provorov, Macoy Erkamps, Andrew Nielsen, Travis Sanheim and Ethan Bear. All of which are previously drafted, or in the case of Erkamps (as a UFA) have signed an ELC.


Bean was named to the U18 roster, but unfortunately suffered a broken foot before the tournament even began. Team Canada opted to add forward Cameron Morrison from the USHL in his absence.

If we take a look at the pGPS rating for Bean, a very impressive 70% went onto becoming NHL regulars. Ideally, you would like to have more matches, but when we look at which players compared to Bean,  it is a very promising list. That includes players like Glen Wesley, Scott Niedermayer, Dan Hamhuis and Darryl Sydor. Regardless of the players he matched with, outside of the top 5 picks, you are not going to get much better bets of getting and NHL defenceman than that.

There have been suggestions that Bean should be in the conversation with the higher ranked defenceman who hail from the OHL and it’s clear you can see why. Bean brings a total package that all teams should covet.  We won’t know until draft day if he has done enough to supplant one of those OHL defenceman. If he does fall to where he is expected to go, which is in the mid first, the team selecting him may walk away with the defenceman who will have the largest offensive impact in the NHL of this draft class.

Nation Network Draft Prospect Profiles

Prospect Profile #13: Kieffer Bellows (C/LW) Prospect Profile #14: Michael McLeod (C)
Prospect Profile #15: Logan Brown (C) Prospect Profile #16: Julien Gauthier (RW)
Prospect Profile #17: Dante Fabbro (D) Prospect Profile #18: Charlie McAvoy (D)
Prospect Profiles #19: Luke Kunin (C) Prospect Profile #20: Alex Debrincat (C/LW)
Prospect Profiles #21: Vitali Abramov (RW) Prospect Profile #22: Max Jones (W/C)
Prospect Profiles #23: Pascal Laberge (C/LW) Prospect Profile #24: Tage Thompson (C/RW)
Prospect Profile #25: German Rubtsov (C) Prospect Profile #26: Samuel Girard (D)
Prospect Profile #27: Rasmus Asplund (C/LW) Prospect Profile #28: Will Bitten (C)
Prospect Profile #29: Tyler Benson (LW) Prospect Profile #30: Carl Grundstrom (LW)
Prospect Profiles #60 – #31 (2nd Round)

    • BR(j)ED

      I’ve heard that as well, as Columbus really wants a center to replace Johansen. But I would not give up more than the 5OA, Hansen and Columbus’ 2nd rounder, particularly if we have to take one of Columbus’ salary dumps.

      I am more intrigued with possible trades with Montreal at 9, if they really want Dubuois, and/or with Colorado at 10 in a deal involving Barrie. Can Benning pry Galchenyuk by switching picks? Probably not. But maybe McCarron, Julssen?

      Whatever move Jim makes, I think he will not move out of the top 12. My gut tells me that he really likes Jost, particularly with Jost playing and building chemistry with Boeser in North Dakota next year. Can he get Jost at 9 with a trade with Montreal? Tough call.

      • BR(j)ED

        The word is that the Bluejackets want Logan Brown and are prepared to go off the board and draft him at No. 3 if there isn’t a certain path to trade down to pick him.

        No. 5 probably provides them with that certainty. So how much is Benning willing to give up to take Jesse Puljujarvi over Dubois or Tkachuk (as the rapidly rising Brown would seem to be out of the picture now)?

        • BR(j)ED

          I keep hearing that Benning wants to replace the Sedins, and I interpret that as Benning wants to find Henrik’s eventual replacement. I’m curious on how Jim ranks the centers. Moreover, if the impact of the speed that the Pens centers have had on Sharks would have any influence.

          I like what you said about Columbus going off board and picking Brown if that’s how they see fit. If you look at any draft from any sport, the hindsight redraft is remarkable. I really don’t think its as black and white as BPA vs. position need.

          For me, the pick is Dubios. If he’s not there, I would try and horse trade with Colorado and try and get Barrie and their 10th without giving up Bo, Boeser, Hutton, or JV. If not, pick Tkachuk.

    • Ryan Biech

      Can you define bad? Like Brian Murray giving away Ben Bishop bad? George McPhee trading Forsberg bad? Jim Nill spending $10 mil on Lehtonen/Niemi bad? David Poile bringing back Radulov bad? Im not trying to be a dick (it comes off quite naturally in fact) – but the guy has made one playoffs and lost another. He has a clear mandate from the owners of making the playoffs, which he is trying while still having a pulse for the future. I suppose he could tell the owners to go hump themselves and clean bathrooms at NHL headquarters with Lawrence Gilliam.

      Is he bad? Perhaps – but its all subjective, depends your perspective, and really – how you define bad. If we define bad like Kevin Lowe or Dave Nonis. Well, I respectfully disagree with you.

      • #12MorrisLukowich

        YES !..all those bads you described were incompetent, shouldn’t be in a management position bad…having said that, the GM’s you described are still VERY good… Jim Benning is NOT ! He makes those same mistakes continually and shows absolutely no grasp of the situation he’s in…ditto Trevor Linden…

        He is NO Jack Bowman and definitely pales to Peter Chiarelli especially when it comes to drafting

        How bad?

        Like losing in the 1st round of the playoffs to 1 line Calgary bad…

        Like drafting Bo Horvat over Max Domi bad…

        Like drafting Jake Virtanen over Nik Ehlers, Dyan Larkin bad

        Like not having a fire sale on the geezers for young talent bad

        Nucks will be in last place for a few years yet…right beside Calgary & Edm. but the Flames & Oilers are WAYYYYYY ahead on the D&D model

        • #12MorrisLukowich

          Not that I don’t have concerns about Benning,….but lets be fair….Horvat was a Gillis draft (and is a solid add). As I recall, Larkin was not in the conversation in the Virtanen draft slot. Ehlers was, but the jury is out on who will have the better career between Ehlers and Virtanen. So, pretty hasty on that point. If the geezer’s comment is related to trade deadline action, then I am all in – trade deadlines have been a debacle.

  • #12MorrisLukowich

    Bean is my number 1 D-man in this draft.

    He is just so creative offensively and good on transition.

    You can teach defensive positioning, you can’t teach instinctive hockey sense. His build will fill out too.

  • Hank_Mardukas

    Jets trade RW Joel Armia and #22 pick for Carolina’s #13 and #66 picks in this year’s draft.

    Carolina gets the immediate help they need up front with a big Finn to play opposite of fellow countryman Sebastian Aho. They then hold back-to-back 1st round picks at #22 and #23 and also still have two picks remaining in the 3rd round.

    Jets move down nine spots and give themselves the opportunity to draft the stud LHD they desperately need. They also recoup the third round pick they lost in the Tlusty deal and alleviate the “too many mouths to feed” conundrum they currently have with Copp, Lowry, Burmi, and Dano all fighting for bottom 6 minutes.