Name: Jared Bethune
Position: Left Wing
2014-2015 stats: 61 games, 6 goals, 14 assists, 20 points, -23 +/- rating
Final NHL Central Scouting Rank: Unranked
What are his strengths and weaknesses?
Bethune is a strong power forward that uses his frame to create space for himself and isn't afraid to play with the puck on his stick. He's strong on his stick which makes him difficult to knock off the puck and he attacks the net hard in the offensive zone to create offense.
Skating is a big concern that was exposed this past season. His feet can be a bit heavy at times, and he tends too often to attack in straight lines, making himself very easy to defend, rather than stressing the defense by using his agility to attack east-west.
Is he trending up or down in his draft year?
Bethune started the year with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL with intentions of returning to Warroad High School in Minnesota for his senior season. But after receiving a ‘B' grade in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings, Bethune decided to sign with the Prince George Cougars of the WHL. Bethune really struggled with the transition to the WHL and finished the year with a very poor scoring line. By the end of the season, Bethune was unranked by NHL Central Scouting.
Where is he projected to go in the draft?
As strange as it would have seemed at the beginning of the year, there's a very good chance that Bethune isn't selected this year. If he is selected, it will likely be in the later rounds of the draft by a team that liked his potential in the early part of the season, and is willing to gamble that his lack of scoring was simply due to a rough transition to a new league, and not the result of some exposed flaw in his game.
How does he project as a pro?
The ceiling for Bethune is likely as a solid second line winger that plays a power forward role. He's never going to be the fastest player, but could hold on to a role on a lower line with the ability to use his big frame to be a physical presence.
Where will he go next?
Bethune will return to the Cougars in Prince George with the hopes that an extra year of maturity will lead to increased offensive production. Because of his physical maturity, Bethune is likely a player that would be ready to start battling it out in the minors in 2016-2017 if he's able to show good offensive production next year.