Leading up to the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York, on June 24th and 25th, WHL.ca will highlight WHL players looking to hear their names called on draft day. The ninth and final featured WHL player is Calgary Hitmen defenceman Jake Bean.
Jake Bean – Calgary Hitmen
Hometown: Calgary, AB
D.O.B: June 9th, 1998
Wt: 170 lbs
NHL C.S.S. Final Ranking: 15th amongst North American skaters
Bean recently completed his second season in the Western Hockey League with the Calgary Hitmen. The native of Calgary, AB led all blue liners with 24 goals and capped off a strong season with 64 points while playing in 68 games this season.
“His strengths are clearly his vision,” said Calgary Hitmen General Manager Mike Moore regarding Bean’s strengths on the ice. “His creativity and his ability to think ahead on the game. He is extremely gifted with the puck. His first pass, quick release, it’s why he scored 24 goals this season.”
Moore further added that Bean has been highly discussed amongst NHL scouts.
“His goal scoring, the way he plays in his own end, and his ability to move the puck up the ice. All of those things is what they see along with his thought process on the ice.”
Moore did state that he needs to work on the defensive end to really elevate his game to the next level.
“He’s got to improve on the defensive side of the puck and that will come by getting stronger. He’s still young and still growing into his body. He works at the gym all time and continues to get stronger and more physical.”
Furthermore, Bean earned a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament and also earned a roster spot with Team Orr at the 2016 CHL Top Prospects Game in Vancouver.
Q & A with Jake Bean
Being ranked amongst North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, what do you do to stay focused on the task at hand?
If I can just focus on my game and getting better every day, that’ll help me. I got to put the team’s success before mine and everything will fall into place from there.
Who was your favourite NHL team growing up?
Growing up, I was a Calgary Flames fan.
Which current NHL player do you feel you have a similar skill set and are trying to emulate?
I don’t think I play exactly like Duncan Keith but he’s a player I try to emulate my game around.
You won a gold medal with Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament in August. How did that experience help you heading into the 2015-16 WHL season?
That was a really cool tournament. It definitely helped my confidence and I got to play with really good players. I got to play in key situations on one of the biggest stages you can play on.
Who was your favourite WHL team growing up?
I was a Calgary Hitmen fan growing up. I went to watch them regularly.
What is your favourite moment in your hockey career up to this point?
Probably winning the Ivan Hlinka. That would be the biggest one!
How have you adapted to playing in the WHL?
Yeah for sure. Everything is faster and everything is harder. There is definitely some more creativity in areas at this level and thing you can’t get away with here in comparison to midget.
What do you need to accomplish in order to have success at the next level?
There isn’t one thing you can’t be too good at. I work on all the basics you know, shooting, passing, skating. I also need to keep getting stronger and progress to the next level.
What is your favourite activity or hobby away from hockey?
I like to play golf and spend time at the lake with my family.