Bruins player development coordinator Jamie Langenbrunner had one word ready when asked for his first impression of John Beecher.
“Speed,’’ Langenbrunner said Wednesday at Warrior Ice Arena, where 34 prospects gathered for the first day of the organization’s development camp.
Beecher, whom the Bruins selected with their first pick — 30th overall — in the NHL Draft last week, was hard to miss during his morning ice session. Sporting No. 45, last worn by defenseman Joe Morrow, the 6-foot-3-inch center jetted across the ice through a variety of skating and shooting drills.
“I just want to show them what I can do,’’ said Beecher. “I want to make sure that they know that I was the right man for the pick. There’s a lot of talent. It’s a big pool of guys and I just want to show people what I can do.’’
Things seem to be off to a good start.
Langenbrunner highlighted Beecher’s athleticism, suggesting his abilities might have been overshadowed by center Jack Hughes, who was drafted first overall by the New Jersey Devils, during his time with the US National Team Development Program.
“I think he has more skill than people think,’’ Langenbrunner said. “Like, he’s getting on pucks from bad passes. He has skill level that’s underrated.’’
Beecher acknowledged he had to shake some first-day jitters but said he tried to approach the situation with an open mind, telling himself that “there’s always something to take away.’’ The 18-year-old New York native, who will be in the city until Saturday, pegged the three-day camp as a valuable learning experience.
“He played with a ton of poise,’’ Langenbrunner said. “Real calm for an 18-year-old out there. He doesn’t get rattled and stays within himself.’’
Though he’s not knocking on the door, Beecher said he sees his style fitting in well with the Bruins. As he was watching the Stanley Cup Final, he said he was drawn to the “hard, gritty game play.’’ But it’s far too early to tell when Beecher will make the transition to the NHL.
Up next is playing for coach Mel Pearson at Michigan, where he’ll likely log quality minutes as a top-six forward. Langenbrunner equated the situation to that of Bruins center Trent Frederic, who was selected 29th overall in the 2016 draft before playing two seasons at Wisconsin.
“[Beecher’s] obviously a big boy, but he’s still definitely not developed, which is exciting for us,’’ Langenbrunner said. “He’s still a little bit skinny at 6-4, 210-ish. There’s a lot of room for growth still in that player. He’s going to a good spot to get it.’’
“At the end of the day, it’s how much I can develop in a certain amount of time,’’ Beecher said. “There’s really no time frame on it, but, with me, I just concentrate on one thing at a time. Right now, it’s going to be school at Michigan and seeing what I need to do better to get to that next level.’’
Kampfer ready to go
Defenseman Steven Kampfer, who signed a contract extension Tuesday, called it “an honor and a privilege’’ to wear the Spoked-B for at least two more years.
Kampfer expressed an interest in earning more playing time next season, and, depending on how Kevan Miller (kneecap) and John Moore (shoulder) recover from their respective surgeries, there could be an opening.
“I’ve had open and honest conversations with the coaches and the staff,’’ Kampfer said. “It’s show up and compete for a job come September. Whatever they ask of me, we go from there. If it’s doing the same thing this year, then I understand that.
“I would like to play, but you have to earn that and play. You’re here to support the team and be the best team guy and the best person you can be.’’
Kampfer finished the season with three goals and three assists in 35 regular-season games. He appeared in three playoff games, scoring in Game 1 of the conference finals vs. Carolina.
Returning to the Bruins isn’t the only good news Kampfer received recently. He and his wife, Tara, welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Theodore, last Thursday.
Prospects Jack Studnicka, Jakub Lauko, and Kyle Keyser are attending development camp but not expected to skate, Langenbrunner said . . . The Bruins announced they extended qualifying offers to six players: defensemen Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy, as well as forwards Peter Cehlarik, Danton Heinen, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson.
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