The Bruins have signed center Johnny Beecher to an amateur tryout agreement for the remainder of the AHL season.
Beecher, 21, was selected by the Bruins in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft. He spent the past three seasons at the University of Michigan. He was in Providence for Wednesday’s practice.
“Johnny Beecher has made the decision to leave Michigan and the Bruins are excited that Johnny will immediately begin his professional career with the Providence Bruins,” said Bruins general manager Don Sweeney.
“The Bruins and Johnny are leaving all options open with regards to his availability for the remainder of this season and playoffs.”
After a freshman season in which he appeared in 31 games and was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team, the 6-foot-3-inch, 209-pound Beecher battled injuries in his sophomore and junior seasons.
He played in just 16 games as a sophomore before he had season-ending surgery for a torn labrum. He missed more time as a junior with a broken thumb.
In 81 total games for the Wolverines, he had 19 goals and 20 assists for 39 points and a plus-14 rating.
Michigan coach Mel Pearson spoke highly of Beecher ahead of the team’s appearance at the Frozen Four last week.
“We really didn’t get him back until the second half of the year, and that’s when we made our push,” said Pearson. “The numbers aren’t maybe as high as you’d like them to be, but he’s not playing on one of our power-play units right now. I wouldn’t be overly concerned with the stats.
“What he brings is speed, physicality. He’s got good size, he’s great on faceoffs. He’s taken a defensive role on the penalty kill and has done a great job.
“His development is good. He’s continued to grow not only as a player on the ice, but off ice. He’s matured. You can see that now.”
Forward Mike Pastujov, a fifth-year senior for the Wolverines this past season, talked about Beecher’s work ethic.
“Johnny brings size, a great attitude, just being a great guy all the time,” said Pastujov. “He’s one of the hardest working guys in the game. I think he brought this year a big physical aspect to his game. Guys are scared to line up across from him. I think that’s going to help him out once he plays in the next level.”
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