Jake Bean played 14 games for Columbus last season and is officially at a crossroads

Jake Bean missed 14 games during his first season in 2021-22, sidelined with a groin injury. This season, Bean played just 14 games before he ended his season with a season-ending shoulder injury that set him up for a huge 2023-24 run in the final year of his contract.

Bean was brought over from Carolina with the second-round pick (44th overall) acquired from Chicago as part of the Seth Jones trade in July 2021. Since arriving, Bean is 8-23-31 in 81 total games over two seasons. for the Blue Jackets – Bean was brought in to help bridge the gap between Seth Jones and the next generation of Jackets defenders (as of this writing, Jiricek, Svozil, Mateychuk, Cuelemans, Berni, Knazko to name a few), but it hasn’t been available enough to help bridge that gap.

Bean is contracted for one more year before 2023-24 and will suddenly have competition for his spot in the top six, with Werenski, Jiricek and Gudbranson (due to contract status alone) presumably all scored, that leaves three spots open for either and all the names mentioned above plus Andrew Peeke and Nick Blankenburg. If Bean is still here in the fall (the big naming logjam could force a trade), he’ll be in a battle for a roster spot.

Statistics 2022-23

Games: 14
Goals: 1
Assists: 5
Over/Under: -2
MPI: 6
%CF 5v5: 45.0
5v5 FF %: 43.0
oZS%: 54.4

contract status

Jake Bean is heading into the final year of a 3-year, $6,999,999 contract that carries a salary cap of $2,333,333 and will leave him at RFA after next season. Bean will be looking to perform big this season to earn his next NHL contract, whether that be in Columbus or elsewhere. The pedigree is there: Bean is a former first-rounder, 13th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, but time is running out to prove his potential.

Decisive point

Jake Bean scored his only goal of the season on October 20 as the Blue Jackets beat the Nashville Predators 5-3 at home.

Low point

His shoulder injury: Bean played just one more game than Zach Werenski this season, the second fewest of any defenseman on the roster to open the regular season and lost a full year of development before a contract season. 2023-24 looks big for Jake Bean.

report card


Like Zach Werenski, it’s nearly impossible to assign a letter grade to Jake Bean. He played just 14 games, scoring six points, then missing the last 68 games due to injury. If you want to charge him with injuries, that’s fair, but it’s hard to assign a grade or blame Bean.