By: Ryan Duffy | Follow Me On Twitter @Rduffy26
On Wednesday morning, Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced that they had signed the University of Michigan forward and the Bruins’ first-round pick in 2019 (#30 overall), John Beecher, to an Amateur Tryout deal (ATO) for the remainder of the 2021-22 season. It’s also believed that Beecher and his camp are still working on an Entry-Level Contract with the Bruins; details to follow once the news is confirmed.
From Elmira, New York, the 21-year-old finished his third year with the Wolverines this past week after the University of Denver eliminated them at the Frozen Four in overtime. Michigan was an absolute powerhouse in college hockey this year as they were favored to win the NCAA championship and had seven NHL first-round picks on their roster.
Beecher finished his career in the NCAA with 19 goals and 20 assists in 81 games played. While his offensive production is still a work in progress, Beecher’s two-way play, skating ability, and physicality are bright spots in his game. The 6-foot-3 209-pound center played for Michigan head coach Mel Pearson in all situations. Beecher played a depth forward role for Michigan and was particularly effective on the penalty kill.
“I wouldn’t be overly concerned with the stats,” Pearson commented on Beecher’s role on the team. “He’s taken more of a defensive role on the penalty kill and done a great job there. But he’s really given us another line that’s dangerous, and added to our depth. His development’s been good.”
Not only was Beecher an essential piece for the Wolverines on the ice, but he’s also continued to develop as a leader off the ice. “He’s matured, and you can see that,” Pearson said. “Maybe last year I might have to calm him down on the bench a little bit. The other day I found him calming our coaches down a little bit. It’s been a reversal. He’s really grown in so many different areas, and he’s still young.”
Despite his offensive numbers, Beecher has shown growth in his game since his freshman year at Michigan, an encouraging sign for Boston. He’ll start his pro career with the Providence Bruins in the AHL and, hopefully, begin to plug into Boston’s roster in the near future.