When the Tri-City Americans in January acquired Jake Bean, a first-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes, it looked like a move that could put the talented, albeit injured, team over the top.
That move has paid dividends during the Americans unreal playoff run, as the 19-year-old defenseman was named the WHL Player of the Week, the league announced Monday.
Despite not scoring a goal, Bean helped Tri-City finish off its Western Conference semifinal sweep of the Victoria Royals by handing out eight assists in two games at the Toyota Center last week, including a career-best five gives in the 6-5, Game 3 victory.
Bean enters the Western Conference finals — beginning at 7:35 p.m. Friday at Everett — tied with Moose Jaw's Kale Clague for the WHL Playoffs scoring lead for defensemen at 14 points (Bean has 1G, 13A). He's managed that total in just eight games as the seventh-seeded Americans have earned sweeps in the first two rounds of the playoffs (Kelowna Rockets in the first round) for the first time in their history.
Tri-City acquired Bean on Jan. 6 in a trade with Calgary, shipping defenseman Dakota Krebs, forward Carson Focht, a 2019 first-round bantam draft pick, and second-round picks in 2018 and 2020 to the Hitmen in a move with seriouswin-now implications
. In total, he's racked up 48 points (12G-36A) in 67 games between the two teams this season.