Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2021 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “2021 NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Sean Behrens Scouting Report.
Sean Behrens was one of the top offensive defencemen for the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 Team this season. He put up seven goals and 28 assists for 35 points in 46 games. Behrens was named an alternate captain for the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. He scored one goal and three assists for four points in five games at the tournament. Unfortunately, the American team disappointed on home ice, getting eliminated in the quarterfinal.
In 2019-20 Behrens scored six goals and 31 assists for 37 points in 45 games for the Under-17 team. He also played in six games for the Under-18 team scoring a goal and two assists for three points. Behrens helped the American team to a silver medal at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. He put up one goal and seven assists for eight points in six games. Behrens made the Tournament All-Star team. He also led all defenders in the tournament in both assists and points.
Behrens is committed to playing NCAA Hockey for the University of Denver Pioneers next season. Should he change his mind and opt to head down the CHL route, his rights are owned by the OHL’s Sarnia Sting.
Sean Behrens Scouting Report
Left Defense — shoots Left
Born March 31st, 2003 — Barrington, Illinois
Height 5’10” — Weight 176 lbs [177 cm/80 kg]
Behrens is undersized but his skating ability helps him to make up for this deficiency. He has a good first step as well as excellent technique skating in both directions. A good stride gives him quick acceleration, allowing Behrens to win races to loose pucks. Behrens also has very good top-end speed in both directions, allowing him to rush the puck up the ice or pinch at the blue line and still get back defensively. His edgework and lateral agility allow him to walk the line in the offensive zone. They also help him in defending against the rush and in maintaining good gap control. Behrens is also very strong on his skates. He wins battles along the boards and in front of the net against bigger opponents.
Behrens is a good playmaker from the back end. He transitions the puck effectively, with strong stickhandling complimenting his skating skill. This allows him to avoid forecheckers and move the puck out of the zone. He can also lead the rush through the neutral zone and has effective zone entries. When he carries the puck, Behrens loves to take it to the net. He also makes a good first pass. Behrens can head-man the puck to start the transition game. He is also very good at hitting a long breakaway pass when a teammate gets behind the opposition. Behrens uses his vision and passing skill to quarterback the play from the point. He moves well laterally, walking the line to open up passing and shooting lanes.
Behrens is also a good shooter from the point. He has a good slap shot as well as a hard wrist shot. Behrens can take his slap shot or one-timer from the point. He also loves to sneak into the top of the faceoff circles and let go his wrister. It is also effective when he is the trailer in the rush. His good hands allow him to do a quick toe-drag and change the angle on his shot, opening up shooting lanes and fooling goalies. Behrens is also willing to pinch down low to keep plays alive in the offensive end.
Behrens might be undersized, but he doesn’t play that way. He is willing to engage physically in the defensive zone, playing an aggressive game along the boards and in front of the net. His low centre of gravity and lower body strength helps him to maintain his balance and win battles against bigger opponents. Behrens’ strong skating also helps him to maintain good gap control and makes him tough to beat in one-on-one situations. He is strong positionally and keeps his man to the outside. Behrens is good at poke-checking an opponent to steal the puck as well as using his stick to cut down passing lanes. When a turnover is created, he is quick to move the puck up the ice and start the transition game.
Projection and Comparison
Behrens has the tools needed to be an effective defenceman on both ends of the ice. The questions that remain are if his game will translate at the next level given his lack of size. He relies on his physical game in the defensive zone and this may not work as well when he is facing men. However, his offensive skills as well as his skating ability give him the chance to make it. Behrens is a real boom or bust style of prospect. Playing for the University of Denver will give him the opportunity to continue to bulk up with the slower NCAA schedule. His game is reminiscent of Jared Spurgeon, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Sean Behrens that are available on youtube and twitter.
— Josh Tessler (@JoshTessler_) April 25, 2021
— Josh Tessler (@JoshTessler_) April 27, 2021
— Tony Ferrari (@theTonyFerrari) April 30, 2021
Sean Behrens (#2 in blue) @USAHockeyNTDP is 5’9”/174lbs but doesn’t play like he is. He’s very strong defensively, and doesn’t shy away from using the body like he does here, punishing Mackie Samoskevich with a hard hit #USHL #2021NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/m44maU0A7E
— Dylan Krill (@dylan_krill) December 5, 2020
— Tony Ferrari (@theTonyFerrari) April 30, 2021
And just like that, USA have EIGHT goals. 🇺🇸
— Caitlin Berry (@caitlinsports) November 3, 2019
— Dylan Krill (@dylan_krill) February 20, 2021
— USA Hockey’s NTDP (@USAHockeyNTDP) January 11, 2020
Come back tomorrow for our latest NHL Draft article.
Sean Behrens Scouting Report Main Photo:
Sean Behrens checked in at No. 22 on our latest #2021NHLDraft ranking, a drastic break from consensus.@MitchLBrown talked to Behrens, & then broke his game down in the Film Room™️ to explain that call.
Behrens an exception to the rule-type defender
— EP Rinkside (@EPRinkside) April 21, 2021