NHL

Defense Deployments 2: Bean and Boqvist

|
Image for Defense Deployments 2: Bean and Boqvist

There is a little less than half of the season left and we are going to go over the most recent Columbus Blue Jackets acquisitions. Both defensemen are still growing into their roles under the leadership of Zach Werenski.

Unlike the style of play of David Savard and Seth Jones, who were with the Blue Jackets until after the Bubble, Bean, and Boqvist are better on the rush. They can move the puck, and be utilized in offensive situations, which has been beneficial.

They are typical offensive defensemen, who don’t play heavy in the neutral zone and I believe it is another reason, this rebuild will continue for at least 2 more years. However in the short-term, if Brad Larsen can develop them into players who play a whole 200-foot game, we will see a team that is successful on and off the rush.

Adam Boqvist

Adam Boqvist was drafted in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, a right-handed defenseman, whose career totals 13 assists and 30 goals.

He was traded with the 12th pick in the 2021 NHL entry draft, the Blackhawks 2nd round draft pick in 2021 and the Blackhawks 1st round pick in 2022 for Seth Jones, and the 32nd pick in 2021.

Has the kind of offensive skills that cannot be taught. He is extremely mobile, rushes the puck well, has good hockey sense and is an accomplished stickhandler. Has to get stronger, which should happen as he moves toward the prime of his career, and work on his play in his own zone in order to maximize output.

https://sportsforecaster.com/nhl/p/27109/Adam_Boqvist

Sportsforecaster

As a young offensive-defensemen, he is a comparable player to Erik Karlsson with his skills.

On the Swedish national team, his ability to see the ice and lead the play with intelligence and move the puck with determination, translated well into a power-play role in both Chicago and Columbus.

His last season in Chicago ended with 35 games played, and 16 points which currently he will match soon with 30 games here in Columbus and 14 points already.

He’s established his presence on our 2nd Power-Play unit, 1 PPG this year so far.

Outlook

My concern for his game is defensive, to keep in mind he is a smaller player, and dealing with more physical forwards, will lead to him turning over the puck in the defensive zone, as I’ve seen in his play.

but he was routinely harassing puck carriers in the corner, using one hand to push players into the wall while keeping his other hand on his stick to pry the puck free. It looked very Duncan Keith-esque, because he made a career out of winning puck battles in that manner. I don’t mean to compare the defensive abilities of the two because Boqvist will likely never match Keith’s defensive prowess, but seeing Boqvist inherit a fundamental from a player of Keith’s stature was a positive sign.

https://www.jacketscannon.com/2021/9/7/22659820/columbus-blue-jackets-top-25-under-25-get-the-inside-scoop-on-adam-boqvist-from-second-city-hockey

Pale Dragon

If he is to improve the Blue Jackets on-ice product, he will have to grow into the stereotypical shutdown player, or throw the body more and develop into a problem for forwards in the neutral zone harassing forwards with proper stick movement.

But his game is still developing as he only became an NHL regular in 2019-2020, but if he could add more physical attributes and fine-tune his offensive skills, the Columbus Blue Jackets will win this trade, and Cole Sillinger will be a bonus.

Jake Bean

Jake Bean is currently on injured reserve for the Columbus Blue Jackets as of Jan 31, 2022.

Much like Adam Boqvist, Jake Bean is a steal from the NHL Draft in July as a result of the 44th pick in the 2nd round from Chicago.

Jake had been in the Carolina Hurricanes system since 2016 and only played 42 games for the Hurricanes in 2021-2022. Previously only played only called up for 2 games in the NHL in 2018-2019 and had spent two seasons in Charlotte winning the Eddie Shore Award in the AHL.

This lends to the idea that he had been struggling to establish himself in the NHL, with 1 point in one playoff game under Rod Brind’Amour. Despite his 12 point total in 42 games, the Canes probably felt like they had enough depth which explains why he was exposed during the NHL expansion draft.

Has the skills to play a top-four rearguard role and put up good offensive numbers. He makes good decisions with the puck and gets it out of trouble quickly. His slight build is a concern but he moves his feet well enough and moves the puck efficiently, enabling him to avoid a lot of hits. Has the skills to play a top role but has to show he can hold up physically while playing 20-plus minutes on a nightly basis.

https://sportsforecaster.com/nhl/p/26043/Jake_Bean

Sportsforecaster

It isn’t ironic where this post is going, as there IS a point to this and I feel that the team needed to add more offense. Currently, he sits at 15 points in 42 games played, so we haven’t seen his upside yet.

Up until recently, we had a solid offensive on-ice product and this is thanks to our new additions, Bean included. Bean is a raw product I feel, he has the offensive skills to be deadly in situations where the Blue Jackets need him and has delivered, on the report mentioned above.

Much like Boqvist however, his skills on both ends of the ice are lacking and not to their own fault. Brad Larsen has to let them play their game and develop their skills defensively, so the Blue Jackets can be the team others are afraid to play against.

I feel optimistic about this team’s ability to develop talent, given the history of David Savard, Seth Jones, and Ryan Murray. It just has to be actualized, or we will continue to be written off as 1st round winners and nothing else.

Main image credit:

Embed from Getty Images

Share this article