USHL Monthly Report: Sean Behrens deep dive

Hadi Kalakeche


Welcome back to another edition of the USHL monthly report.

This time around, we will take a look at a polarizing defenseman from the U.S. National Team Development Program, Sean Behrens. The 5-10, 175-pound left-handed blueliner has put up 18 points in 23 USHL games, showing decent distribution and puck-moving abilities. His size and point totals indicate that he might be more of an offensive-leaning defenseman, but he has spent an almost equal amount of time on the penalty kill, breaking down opposing five-man units with his multi-layered defensive game. He currently holds the 53rd position in our 2021 NHL Draft rankings.

There are some conflicting reports regarding Behrens’ play – some scouts have written him off as a Samuel Girard-type with no discernable physical element to his game, whereas others have lauded his physical presence and have come away surprised by how efficient he was with his body along the boards and on the rush. This case study will serve to break down exactly what kind of player Behrens could turn out to be.

Video Report

Before proceeding with Behrens’ written analysis, please watch this short analysis video describing Behrens’ strengths and weaknesses:


Written Analysis


Here we evaluate Behrens’ skating, IQ, mentality, and stickhandling, which cannot be quantified appropriately and require in-depth eye-test analysis:

Skating: B

Behrens’ skating is decent enough to allow him to get around forecheckers with little to no effort – he can push off his inside edge quickly to cut across approaching forecheckers, and is very adept at blending fakes into his skating stride. His crossovers seem under-utilized and do not have as much dynamism to them as most defenders his size, but Behrens’ skating is not a deficiency by any means. In-depth work with pro-level skating coaches should rectify the kinks in Behrens’ skating as he grows into his final product.

IQ: B+

Not often does a defender manage pressure and solve problems as consistently as Behrens does. His ability to make the right read and put the puck out of the forechecker’s reach for his teammate to pick up is impressive, and he seems as comfortable with two players closing in on him as he is when retrieving a puck in his zone without pressure. His brain might well be his sharpest tool, as he rarely zones out or gets lost in coverage. His habits are sound – he scans the ice constantly, communicates with his teammates, and overall makes his teammates’ lives easier on the ice.

Mentality: B

Behrens’ aggression is a tool that allows him to stay in the game mentally at all times, without necessarily turning him dirty; he seldom loses his cool and seems to know instinctively what the limit is. He can be spotted cross-checking forwards out of the way in front of the net, but never seems to overdo it and draw a penalty. He is also very driven, competitive, and resilient, not faltering at the first sign of a mistake. He gets back up and tries again because he knows his own game very well.

Stickhandling: B+

When Behrens carries the puck out of his zone, there is very little opponents can do to disrupt him. He carried the puck end-to-end six times in the four games tracked and very rarely does he shy away from incoming forecheckers. A quick head, shoulder, or leg fake and he’s on the other side of the forechecker with open ice to skate into.