Johnny Beecher’s college hockey career has come to a close. His professional journey, by contrast, is just getting underway.
Beecher, 21, a 6-foot-3 power forward from Elmira, N.Y., played the last three seasons at the University of Michigan, helping the Wolverines to the 2022 NCAA Frozen Four in Boston in April before turning pro soon after with Providence of the American Hockey League.
Beecher saw action in nine regular-season AHL games with Providence, notching three goals and five points before adding an assist in two Calder Cup playoff contests. Then he participated in the team's development camp in July.
“I really enjoyed it,” Beecher said of his indoctrination to pro hockey this spring with Providence. “The guys were great. We had a young core, and it was easy to adjust.
“It was obviously different from college. You may have three or four games a week, instead of just weekends, and the style of hockey is tremendous. It’s a little more structured than college, but the team and staff were great.”