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Two Canadiens Picks On Projected Canada Roster, One Omission



Montreal Canadiens prospect Owen Beck

TSN analyst and former Calgary Flames general manager Craig Button released his early projections for the potential 2023 Team Canada World Junior Championship roster. It features two Montreal Canadiens prospects that were chosen at the 2021 Draft: Joshua Roy and Riley Kidney.

However, it was missing one player that should probably be considered given his multiple strengths and overall lack of weaknesses: Owen Beck.

Of course, as is usually the case with Team Canada, players that have spent time representing the country in the past will have a leg up on the competition, which is the case for both Canadiens prospects Button projects to be on the roster.

The two QMJHL standouts represented Canada at the most recent World Junior Championship, earning a gold medal by beating Finland 3-2 in overtime at Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta.

Roy finished the tournament with 3 goals and 5 assists in 7 games, whereas Kidney was kept off the scoresheet in the three games in which he participated.

Unfortunately for Beck, he is yet to represent his country in a tournament, though it should be noted the centre was invited to the National Junior Team Summer Development Camp in July.

Beck is the type of player that could make a significant impact in a short tournament.

He is well known for his stalwart work in the defensive zone, owing to fantastic anticipation and a cerebral approach that allows him to quickly shift from the defensive zone to the offensive zone.

He’s also one of the best faceoff artists outside of the NHL, seeing as he led the OHL in faceoff efficiency last season, and is currently winning over 60 percent of his draws during his current OHL campaign.

Faceoffs, in general, don’t hold as much importance as they tend to be given, but once in a while a faceoff suddenly becomes a crucial factor in a game.

Beck is a coach’s dream in that situation. Not only can he win faceoffs with the greatest of ease, which maintains control of the puck when time is running out, but he also has the type of offensive talent that can break a game wide open.

With 10 goals and 9 assists in 12 games, not only is Beck eclipsing his draft year’s production rate, he’s actually outscoring players drafted well ahead of him.

For example, Zach Dean, a 2021 first-round pick by the Vegas Golden Knights, is slated to take the third-line centre role on Button’s roster, but even if he’s a year old than Beck, he’s still not close to matching his offensive production.

Beck is currently scoring at 1.58 points per game pace, whereas Dean’s season with the Gatineau Olympiques has just yielded a 1.07 points per game pace so far.

Of course, there’s still more than a month before the tournament gets underway. Players like Matthew Savoie, who is also absent from Button’s list, may push for a spot, making things even more complicated for Beck.

Things can, and will change, but it’s worth noting that since he was drafted, Beck has shown the type of progress and maturity that should give him an advantage over some of the other players working toward a spot in the lineup.

He’s the type of player you simply don’t have to worry about, given his ability to absorb information and quickly put it into practice, which is particularly important given the length of the tournament.

Whenever Canadiens prospect Owen Beck is on the ice, good things happen.