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Predators get game-changing defenseman Bean

Prince Albert Raiders v Calgary Hitmen Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

The 2016 NHL Entry Draft is 17 days away and the Minnesota Wild is looking to add that next star player to the team to carry the franchise to the next level. Every weekday leading up to the first round of the draft, Hockey Wilderness is conducting a mock draft. Today we are at pick 17 and the Nashville Predators are on the clock.

Having given up maybe the biggest chip the Predators and GM David Poile had in Seth Jones to acquire Ryan Johansen, the Predators defensive depth past Roman Josi, who is a stud in the making, and longtime bringer of clap-bombs Shea Weber, is a shallow at best. They are banking the defensive future on Minnesotan Jack Dougherty, who left he Badgers to play for the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL. He signed and played with the Milwaukee Admirals and struggled to keep up the speed and size of the pro game.

At forward, they have promising youngster Kevin Fiala, the Predators' 1st round selection from 2014, just tearing up the the AHL with 50 points. He's likely to get a longer term look in training camp heading into next season. The promise that Fiala has should lessen the blow that the prospect pool took when Harvard star Jimmy Vesey chose not to sign with the Preds and instead chose free agency to sign with the Boston Bruins.

With the team still on the rise, the Predators need to keep restocking good, young talent. They've generally drafted very good defensemen, and this year will be no different. With the 17th pick of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, the Nashville Predators are proud to welcome to the Music City, Jake Bean of the Calgary Hitmen (WHL).

Mr. Bean

Jake Bean is a highly rated offensive defenseman that plays all over the ice. His excellent skating coupled with his vision and hockey sense makes for a very good mobile, puck moving defenseman. ISS compares Bean to rookie sensation Shayne Gostisbehere, who seemed to always come through in the clutch for the Philadelphia Flyers this past season. A very good shot, and when you look at the list of things he does very well, it all has to do with mobility and getting the puck towards the net. It shows with 24 goals and 40 assists in 68 games for the Hitmen.

He's not considered a physical defenseman, and instead relies on his skating to get in position to defend.

Good puck mover who will also jump into the rush at opportune times. Distributes the puck well on the PP when shooting lanes blocked ... looks for back door opportunities. - ISS; Barrie

Works hard and doesn't give the opposition much to work with, but could stand to be a bit more assertive during high pressure situations. That being said, he is not a one dimentional player. He displays natural talent in the offensive end, but also plays a complete defensive game in his own end. - Elite Prospects; Curtis Joe

Bean processes the game so well, and when he gets the puck he moves it quickly and into the right spots. He never gets pressured into bad calls by forecheckers, evading checks and maintaining possession very well. He's certainly an offensively tilted player, with above-average hands, and high-end vision on top of having a quality shot. - ESPN; Pronman

How he'd fit the Wild

Some mock drafts show the Wild taking Bean at number 15. And while it may not seem apparent that the Wild need a defenseman, we've seen too often, how valuable good depth on defense is. With scouting services projecting Bean as a top pairing defenseman some day, why not increase the overall strength of the D Corps of the team. Are there other areas of concern for the organization? Sure there are, but Bean would be a good get. When is the last time you saw a defenseman have a four goal game?