Montreal Canadiens prospect Owen Beck‘s omission from Team Canada’s 2023 World Junior Championship roster was surprising given his impressively well-rounded skill set.
He’s excellent defensively, fantastic in transition, wins the majority of his faceoffs and has increased his offensive production twofold since the Habs Drafted him, going from 0.75 points per game to 1.5 points per game.
But unfortunately for Beck, he had a few factors working against him, things he simply could not control.
First off, Team Canada’s lineup is difficult to criticize. Beck was facing very stiff competition.
In addition, at just 18 years old, the chips were stacked against him. Unless they’re considered among the top prospects in the world, 18-year-old players rarely earn a spot on the under-20 team.
Lastly, unlike the majority of the players who made the roster, Beck had never been invited to represent his country in a tournament.
Hockey Canada gives priority to those who they have earmarked as likely to earn a roster spot long before any of the players hit the ice.
If Beck wasn’t considered a lock for next year’s tournament, he definitely should be now.
In the two games following Hockey Canada’s decision, the Port Hope native has earned an impressive six points, feeding his teammates with high-quality scoring chances as if he was an all-you-can-eat assist buffet.
Herted off in style by setting up his all three of his team’s goals in a 7-3 loss to the North Bay Battalion. It’s also worth noting he won 14 of the 21 faceoffs in which he participated (66%).
WHAT A PASS 👏 James Hardie dishes the puck to Zander Veccia, who nets his 4th of the season to put the Steelheads up 2-1! 🥳 #MadeofSteel
— Mississauga Steelheads (@OHLSteelheads) December 16, 2022
Less than 24 hours later, Beck was back at it.
This time he earned three assists in Mississauga’s 4-3 win over the Sudbury Wolves, which means Beck has been directly involved in six of his team’s last seven goals.
You could even argue Beck, who took 10 shots in his last two games, is probably owed a little more offence from the Hockey Gods, but seeing as he earned six points in six periods, no one is going to lose any sleep over a shooting percentage that should have yielded an additional goal or two.
HATTY FOR HARDIE 🎩🎩🎩 James Hardie scores his third goal of the period to put the Steelheads up 4-3! 🚨 #MadeofSteel
— Mississauga Steelheads (@OHLSteelheads) December 17, 2022
Miscellaneous Canadiens Prospect News And Notes
- With just one point in his last four games, Cedrick Guindon is currently in the midst of a scoring drought, but his luck may change shortly.
- Logan Mailloux only has one assist in his last three games, but he displayed some significant improvements when it comes to his gap control and situational awareness. In Mailloux’s case, the points don’t matter as much as consistent improvements.
Good defensive play by #habs Logan Mailloux. Recognizes a giveaway during the power play, and gets into defensive position quickly.
Stays in the middle and gets down to take away the pass, Brett Brochu makes the save to avert disaster. pic.twitter.com/wyvDYKoz1V
— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) December 17, 2022
- Beck and Riley Kidney were among the last cuts from Team Canada, but Habs fans will still have an opportunity to watch several of their best prospects at the World Junior Championship, including Filip Mesar (SVK), Joshua Roy (CAN), Lane Hutson (USA), Adam Engstrom (SWE), Oliver Kapanen (FIN), and Vinzenz Rohrer (AUS).