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Canadiens Owen Beck Looking To Take Next Step In Development

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Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens prospect Owen Beck looks primed for a breakout season in the OHL this year, after a wild summer of training and learning.

Drafted 33rd overall in the 2022 NHL Draft, Beck was a player the Canadiens really liked and strongly considered at the 26th overall rank, where they ultimately took Filip Mesar. Beck is a very responsible centre capable of excelling in all three zones, all while having the speed and offensive aptitudes to produce offence regularly. Montreal Hockey Now reached out to Beck to talk about his experience this summer since being drafted by the Canadiens and what goals he’s set for himself moving forward this season.

Soaking It All In

Since being drafted in early July, Beck has had a whirlwind summer; going from Canadiens development camp to Hockey Canada’s summer camp and now back to Mississauga for intense training before he heads off to the Canadiens rookie camp in mid-September. It may be a lot, but Beck has approached this experience as a way to soak in all this new information and add certain aspects he’s learned along the way to his game.

“Going back to the OHL this season, I have the experience of playing against very talented guys at development camp and world juniors camp,” said Beck on what he took away from his jam-packed summer. “I think just being able to consistently push the pace and playing with the pace we were playing at in the various camps will be extremely beneficial.”

Beck was especially happy about the time he spent at the Montreal Canadiens’ development camp in July. He took a lot away from the development coaches and the drills they put the Canadiens prospects through, all while learning how to play against some of the organization’s top prospects. Beck, who never backs down from the challenge of going up against the best, was especially impressed with a handful of Canadiens prospects.

“It’s tough not to say Slafkovsky, but I think Lane Hutson and Sean Farrell were two guys that also stuck out to me,” said Beck on who impressed him the most at development camp in July. “Farrell’s been a prospect for a couple of years now and he really impressed me on the ice. I enjoyed playing against him and getting to watch him play. The same with Lane Hutson, but he was someone I had more of an idea about, being in my draft class. He’s extremely talented and opened my eyes to how talented he truly is.”

The 18-year-old was able to push the pace of his game and get himself to cover more ice quickly and efficiently in an effort to create the counter-attack and push possession in the offensive end. Building on his ability to defend, Beck is also excited to put his new experience this summer to develop his offensive game as well.

Becoming A Truly Complete Centre

Owen Beck was one of the best defensive players in the OHL last year for the Mississauga Steelheads, posting great underlying numbers and leading the league in faceoff percentage. However, Beck wants to take his offensive prowess up a notch and he believes there are simple tweaks he could make to his game that will help him do just that.

“I think shooting is definitely something I’m going to be doing a little bit more of this season,” said Beck on what aspects of his offensive game he’d like to show more of this upcoming season. “I think it’s a strength of mine, it’s just a strength that doesn’t get used enough and therefore went under the radar. I’ll focus on putting the puck on the net a little bit more this season and I’m pretty certain I’ll get results that the Habs and Habs fans will like.”

In going to look at footage of Beck in the OHL, he’s not wrong; he does possess a very potent shot that should have been used much more this season. Being faster and stronger this time around, Beck will likely be able to create more space for himself on the rush in order to unleash his deceptive wrist shot more often; making him a serious two-way threat. In becoming that dual-threat up the middle, Beck believes he can play a game similar to two of the NHL’s best two-way centres in Phil Danault and Bo Horvat, both of which have a tremendous impact in all three zones.

“Generally, I would say that my game most resembles that of a guy like Bo Horvat,” said Beck on who he compares his style of play to. “I did throw in the comparison to Danault just because it’s a lot more familiar with Habs fans. I see myself being that 200-foot guy, as a lot of people know, but I also have the ability to shut down the opposition, like Phil Danault did for so many years in Montreal.”

As a student of the game, one of Beck’s most interesting qualities is his constant desire to improve and tweak his game for optimal efficiency. With the Montreal Canadiens prospect now primed to take his game to the next level after an eye-opening summer, it will be interesting to see how far he can take his game to another level with a more experience Steelheads team under coach James Richmond,

 

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