Jake Bean, the Carolina Hurricanes’ first-round draft choice last summer, is joining the Checkers for the stretch run.
Bean, an 18-year-old defenseman who the Canes nabbed with the 13th overall pick, is eligible to join the Checkers now that his junior season with his hometown Calgary Hitmen of the WHL came to an end by way of a first-round playoff sweep at the hands of the top-seeded Regina Pats last week.
Bean (6-foot-1, 173 pounds), posted 45 points (8g, 37a) in just 43 games, having missed a portion of the early season due to injury. Bean, who represented Canada alongside fellow Hurricanes prospects Julien Gauthier and Nicolas Roy at the World Junior Championship, now has 148 points (37g, 111a) in 162 career WHL games over the last three seasons.
Due to his age and the fact that the Hurricanes drafted him out of a Canadian junior league, Bean will not be able to join the Checkers at the start of next season. For next season, the Hurricanes would have choose between keeping him on the NHL roster or returning him to junior.
It remains to be seen whether or not Bean will see game action for the Checkers, who currently trail Cleveland by two points with a game in hand for the final playoff spot in the Central Division with seven games remaining. Charlotte has used the same group of six defensemen for its last 18 games since Philip Samuelsson’s trade acquisition from Montreal, having gone 12-5-1 during that time.