Boston Bruins 2023-24 Player Grades: John Beecher

Going into the season, John Beecher seemed like he was playing with a chip on his shoulders.
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game One
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game One / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages

Coming into the 2023-24 season, nobody was really sure what to make of centerman John Beecher. He hadn't made it to the NHL yet, and had only played 70 games at the AHL level after being bysigned to an entry-level deal out of the University of Michigan in 2022.

Going into the season, I saw him as a trade target and maybe someone the Boston Bruins could use as tradebait to possibly get some bigger name free agents to come to play for the Black and Gold. That or maybe he would anchor the offense for the Providence Bruins for at least another season before the big club made any sort of decisions.

Instead Beecher got his first taste of NHL action following the preseason, as he started the season in Boston, instead of Providence.

Beecher's regular season stats

Throughout the regular season, Beecher played in 52 games with Boston and 17 with Providence. Beecher scored seven goals at the NHL-level, and four at the AHL-level. He also racked up three assists, and four assists in each league, respectively.

Beecher held a -6 rating at the NHL-level, but carried a +9 rating (+3 net) at the AHL-level. After going scoreless in his first two NHL games, he picked up his first NHL point on an assist in a game on the road at the San Jose Sharks.

Beecher went blank for the next eight games before he scored his first NHL goal, also on the road, but this time against the Dallas Stars.

Beecher had season-highs in shots on goal with three twice in the season, once in the aforementioned game against the Stars, and once against the Florida Panthers, both ironically coming on the road. The latter of which he also scored his lone game-winning goal in the regular season.

While Beecher seldom played for long stretches during games as he mostly played the center role on the fourth line, he set a season high on March 16 when he skated for his highest total all season with a tally of 14:59.

When it came time for the playoffs, Boston had a decision to make.

Beecher's playoff stats

While his status for the playoffs was up in the air as the season wore down and GM Don Sweeney and co. had to decide on who would make the roster and not, they decided that Beecher would stay put and play in the NHL playoffs, rather than the AHL playoffs.

He went on to play in 12 of the 13 playoff games, all while contributing a goal and racking up an assist, all while rallying around a -4 rating.

Beecher's one goal could not have come at a better time, as he was hit in stride on a pass from the right point from Jesper Boqvist in Game 7 vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs. The goal opened the scoring, and eventually led to a Bruins' victory.

Beecher was clearly a better player when it came to the regular season than the postseason, but as a rookie, it's all subjective to a certain point.

Overall assessment

Going into the season, Beecher was thought to be a trade candidate, now he might be a good piece to keep around and anchor Boston's fourth line.

Considering he is a rookie though, his grade is a bit skewed in that direction. Both in a positive light and not so.

Grade: B-