Bean Improving From Breakout 2015-16 Season
Since returning from a broken finger that kept him our for seven weeks of the Western Hockey League regular season, Jake Bean has been on an absolute tear. In the 20 games he has played since he returned on December 2nd, the Canes first-round selection from a year ago has posted six goals and 20 assists.
Despite playing just 23 games this season, Bean currently sits fifth on the Calgary Hitmen in scoring, and leads the teams defensemen with 28 points. Known for his proficiency with the man-advantage, the 18-year-old has not disappointed this season with 54% of his points coming on the power play (4G, 11A). That number is a slight uptick from a season ago, where 51% of his points (12G, 21A) came with his team on the man advantage.
To further the optimism, during his breakout offensive season a year ago, Bean scored at a pace of .94 points-per-game over the course of 68 regular season contests. This year, albeit in a smaller sample size and Bean a year older, that pace has jumped to 1.22 points-per-game, a number that is good for third among WHL defensemen behind David Quenneville (NYI) and Connor Hobbs (WSH).
Jeremy Helvig Keeping Kingston in the Race
In the midst of a small scale rebuild, and through trades and injuries this season, Helvig has been a steading force for the Frontenacs. He ranks second in the Ontario Hockey League in minutes played (2480), fourth in saves (1093), seventh in wins (20) and second in shutouts (5). To put Helvig’s season in perspective, he has started 86% of Kingston’s games, and has been the net for 87% of their wins. The team currently sits fourth in the OHL’s Eastern Conference, despite scoring a league-low 125 goals.
On February 1st, Helvig was named CHL Goalie of the Week after recording back-to-back shutouts on January 27th and 28th against Niagara and Mississauga. His second shutout came on Kingston’s “The Tragically Hip Night” benefitting the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research, where game-worn jerseys were auctioned off the week following the game. Helvig’s jersey currently holds the highest bid, at $5,000 dollars.
65th Beanpot Tournament Starts Today in Boston
The first Monday of February each year is a viewed as a holiday in Boston, as the first puck is dropped at the Beanpot. The tournament features semifinal games tonight between Boston College and Boston University, and between Harvard and Northeastern, followed by consolation and championship games on February 13th.
This year’s tournament has some Canes prospect flair, with David Cotton and Matt Filipe participating for Boston College and Northeastern respectively. Both players are in the midst of the hottest streaks of their young careers and have been garnering more responsibility as their freshman seasons have gone on. Cotton currently has 20 points in 29 games, including six points (1G, 5A) in his last four games. Filipe, who we talked about in our last edition of Canes Prospect Corner, has continued his emergence offensively for Northeastern with seven points (4G, 3A) in his last four games.
Filipe’s Huskies will face off against fifth-ranked Harvard at 5:00 PM (NESN) in the first of the two semi-final games, and Cotton’s eighth-ranked Eagles will play tonight against third-ranked Boston University at 8:00 PM (NESN). Regardless of the prospect connection, it’s a tournament worth watching, especially if you enjoyed the World Junior Championships and with no Canes hockey to tune in for tonight.
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