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About Last Season: Jake Bean Performance Review and Grade

The young defenseman ran out of time in the Hurricanes organization.

Carolina Hurricanes v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Jake Bean 2020-21 Season by the Numbers

  • Age: 23
  • NHL Seasons: 1
  • Scoring: 1 goal, 11 assists, 12 points in 42 games
  • Advanced Numbers: 52.4 CF%, 53.19 SCF%, 51.77 xGF%, 53.13 GF%
  • Average TOI: 14:32 ES, 0:56 PP, 0:17 SH
  • Contract Status: Signed 3-year deal with Columbus for $2.33 million AAV

Jake Bean joins a long line of first and second-round draft picks by the Hurricanes who ultimately found themselves moved out of the organization; after being a first-round pick in 2016, Bean never was truly able to establish himself as a trusted, regular NHL player.

Ultimately, the story of Jake Bean is one of too little, too late. After two strong seasons in the AHL, including winning the Calder Cup in his first year and receiving the Eddie Shore Award for best defenseman the year after, Bean graduated full-time to the NHL, but was never able to gain much traction with the Hurricanes. Bean saw limited minutes, primarily playing on the third pair, with little special teams time, an area where he often excelled in the AHL.

Like many young defensemen, Bean struggled on defensive assignments at times and never seemed to earn the trust of Rod Brind’Amour during key moments and games. His ice time dipped throughout the playoffs, culminating in a season-low 6:41 during the Hurricanes’ final playoff game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The success that Bean saw as a top defenseman in the AHL hasn’t quite translated yet to NHL success, and the Hurricanes decided to part ways with him this off-season after he wasn’t selected by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft.

Rather than wait for Bean to develop into a bona fide NHLer, the Hurricanes traded him to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a second-round pick on July 24. If it hadn’t already been clear that Bean hadn’t been in the Hurricanes’ plan, the organization made it even more clear by signing Ian Cole, Tony DeAngelo, and Brendan Smith, as well as trading for Ethan Bear.

Will Jake Bean turn out to be the one who got away? No, not likely — and with the contract he received from the Blue Jackets, a raise that doesn’t seem entirely warranted based on his small body of work to date, the Hurricanes may find themselves having dodged a bullet. But he will be given the opportunity to grow into a role as likely a middle pairing defenseman with Columbus, on a team clearly in the midst of its own retooling. The Blue Jackets have the luxury of time to be patient with Bean as he finds his footing in the NHL. For the Hurricanes, who are still allegedly in a “win now” mode, they simply didn’t have time to wait for him.


How would you grade Jake Bean’s 2020-21 season?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    A - Outstanding Performance
    (3 votes)
  • 6%
    B - Above Average Performance
    (16 votes)
  • 46%
    C - Average Performance
    (116 votes)
  • 42%
    D - Below Average Performance
    (106 votes)
  • 2%
    F - Significantly Below Average Performance
    (7 votes)
248 votes total Vote Now