By: Jack Gotsell | Follow me on Twitter @jackgotsell
Jack Achan is a prospect out of St Cloud State in the NCAA hockey league. Achan is 23 years old, and on paper is similar to current Bruins defenceman Torey Krug. He will most likely battle for a spot with the Providence Bruins next season.
Although Achan lacks size, standing at 5’8” and weighing 185 lbs, the Savage, Minnesota native makes up for it with skill. He was the third defenceman in school history to break the 100 point mark. Achan also broke the record for most assists by a defenseman in school history with 81.
He shows many qualities Bruins fans have grown to love with Krug, a defenceman that played in the NCAA. Achan has speed, a high hockey IQ, and an ability to put up points. Along with his 81 assists, he was also able to find the back of the net 26 times. He is also a leader and was a team captain in his senior season.
Achan also was a member of the 2017 World Junior USA team that captured the gold medal. He had 1 assist in that gold medal run but was a plus 3 in 7 games with team USA. He had 33 points in his senior season with SCSU, which is one point shy of Krug’s 34 points he had in his senior season with Michigan State University.
Achan has been overlooked due to his lack of size, but he has managed to be productive at every level he has played nonetheless. Playing 7 games in the WJC is quite a feat and puts him in the category of best defenceman from his country in his age group. If Krug decides to stick around in Boston, Achan would be smart to learn a few things from a player very similar to himself that has found success at the NHL level.
However, Achan’s spot on Providence is not a lock as the Providence Bruins are currently stacked on D. The AHL club already has two offensive defensemen in Urho Vaakanainen and Copper Zech. Achan will need to show off his abilities in camp if he wants to make the Bruins affiliate as a regular player.
Achan is a player that is not afraid to block shots and looked very good in his defensive zone against his college opponents. It has yet to be seen if this will translate into his professional career against more significant, reliable, speedy players. I would not count Achan out because of his size, as he is exceptionally talented.
Achan was a steal for the Bruins as an undrafted free agent. There is no risk with this prospect, but there is the possibility of high reward. The game is faster than ever before, and we are starting to see smaller players across the league, making significant impacts in the NHL. There is no reason Jack Achan can not do the same.