John Beecher immediately recognized he had passion for hockey.

Well, almost immediately. He had to get over that whole ice part of the game first.

"It was too slippery out there for me," said Beecher, a 17-year-old forward for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program Under-18 team. "We played a lot of street hockey, knee hockey and everything growing up.

"My brother [Bryce] was really into [hockey], so I finally put on the skates (at age 6) and went on the ice. ... Once I got the hang of it, I just kind of fell in love with it."

Beecher's father, Bill, signed him up for skating lessons with Cornell assistant women's coach Dean Jackson. Now, John's skating speed, form and technique are among the strong suits he brings along with his 6-foot-3, 204-pound frame.

Beecher, who has committed to the University of Michigan, earned a B rating on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for the 2019 NHL Draft, his first year of eligibility. Players with a B rating are considered possible second- or third-round choices