By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Boston Bruins selected center John Beecher from Elmira, N.Y. with the 30th overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft. Beecher has committed to the University of Michigan, where he will begin his development while the Bruins monitor his progress.
Beecher is added to a pool of recent center prospects drafted under GM Don Sweeney in the first and second rounds. The Bruins also drafted Trent Frederic 29th overall in 2016 and Jack Studnicka 53rd overall in 2017.
As the third center on the U.S. national development under-18 team behind Friday's No. 1 and 9 overall picks - Jack Hughes to the Devils and Trevor Zegras to the Ducks - Beecher excelled in a bottom-six role. However it limited his scoring upside, as he netted 15 goals and 43 points in 63 games.
Beecher brings great size and speed, standing at 6-foot-3 and 212 pounds with high-end skating ability for a guy that big. He has the upside of a good two-way center at the NHL level who can impact the game at both ends of the ice. His offensive skills weren't considered elite entering the draft, but he uses his size to protect the puck or muscle his way to high-danger areas where he can finish.
His combination of size and speed should make him tough to contain at the offensive end, with the potential to develop strong all-around ability if he refines the smaller details in his game and reaches his ceiling.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].