On Sunday morning, Domenic Tiano of OHLWritersMe.com confirmed with Boston Bruins Director of Player Development & Player Personnel Advisor Jamie Langenbrunner that Bruins prospect John Beecher underwent shoulder surgery and will miss the remainder of the season for the University of Michigan Wolverines. Late Tuesday afternoon, a team source did the same via a text to Boston Hockey Now.
Jamie Langenbrunner confirmed #NHLBruins prospect John Beecher had shoulder surgery last week and will be ready for the fall. No decision has been made on where that will be.
— Dominic Tiano (@dominictiano) February 28, 2021
Beecher has had a tough few months. Back in December, he was unable to play for and win gold with the 2021 USA Hockey World Junior team after contracting the COVID19 virus. After returning to the Michigan lineup in January, the 2019 first round pick (30th overall) for the Boston Bruins was just starting to gain some steam again as he had four goals and four assists in 16 games for the Wolverines. Now he may be done in Ann Arbor after just two seasons. Beecher had nine goals and seven assists in 31 games for Michigan last season.
Prior to playing for the Wolverines, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Elmira, New York native played two seasons for the United States National Development Program U17 team and two for the U18 squad. In his final season before being drafted by the Boston Bruins, Beecher had 15 goals and 28 assists in 63 games with the U18 USHL and Exhibition teams.
Even if the Boston Bruins lose centers David Krejci and Sean Kuraly to unrestricted free agency next offseason, they will still have Patrice Bergeron, Charlie Coyle, Jack Studnicka and Trent Frederic as their potentially their four centers for the 2021-22 season but many NHL amateur scouts have told BHN they believe Beecher could make the jump and be in Boston Bruins training camp next fall. What remains to be seen is if this injury causes the Bruins to leave him at Michigan for one more season.
In terms of center prospect depth below the NHL that could be ready to make the jump next season, Jakub Lauko has been impressing with the Providence Bruins (AHL) and could even get a look with the Boston Bruins this season, should injuries or COVID dictate the need for more bodies.