As the World Junior Championship quickly approaches and the NCAA holiday schedule freeze in effect, we’ve hit the rocky part of the 2022-23 campaign for most players in the Canadiens prospect pool.
With that in mind, we’re going to focus on a Canadiens prospect who was unfortunately left off Team Canada’s WJC team: Owen Beck.
Beck was among the last cuts at the selection camp, and it turns out Team Canada’s loss is Mississauga’s gain because he returned to the Steelheads lineup with the fury of a million dogs.
Or dogs with bees in their mouth and when they bark, they shoot bees at you.
The Canadiens prospect power rankings are based on the overall season, as well as the most recent week of action. Factors such as the strength of a prospect’s team, the league in which they play, their age, and expectations related to their draft position will also be considered. Prospects playing in professional leagues based in Europe, will, however, be included.
Week 1: Lane Hutson Takes Top Spot
Week 2: Owen Beck Jumps To First
Week 3: Lots Of Movement In The Top 10
Week 4: Lane Hutson Back In First Place
Week 7: Filip Mesar Shines
Canadiens Prospect Power Rankings Week 8
1. Owen Beck, Centre, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL). Drafted: 32nd overall (2022), Age: 18
Last Week: 3 GP, 0 G, 6 A. Season Totals: 24 GP, 16 G, 23 A, 39 PTS
Previous Ranking: 3rd (+2)
Powered by two 3-point efforts upon his return to the Steelheads lineup, Beck jumps to first in this week’s Canadiens prospect power rankings.
Despite being chosen early in the second round, many draft analysts considered Beck to be a first-round talent, and it’s starting to become evident why.
In his draft season, Beck showed a lot of promise. His speed, vision, and intelligence were apparent, but there were some concerns about his overall production, which slowed down towards the end of the season.
Keep in mind, due to the pandemic Beck did not play for an entire calendar year, which not only robbed him of crucial development months but also meant he was entering the 2021-22 campaign without the benefit of having acclimatized his body to the rigours of a full season.
Those concerns have been put to rest seeing as Beck has increased his production significantly in his Draft+1 season.
Reminder that Owen Beck has 6 points in 2 games since being cut from Canada’s WJC team 👀 pic.twitter.com/K9y99536Hq
— Lauren Kelly (@laurkelly24) December 17, 2022
His goal-scoring pace has doubled, rising from 0.3 goals per game to 0.6 goals per game.
As for assists, his production has almost doubled, going from 0.44 assists per game to 0.85 assists per game.
He’s on pace for a 95-point season, which is rather impressive seeing as he had a hectic summer that included a great showing at Canadiens training camp and then an interruption in his OHL season due to being invited to Team Canada’s selection camp.
But even with a chaotic schedule, Beck is currently eighth in the league when it comes to points per game (1.44).
Unfortunately, not all of Beck’s statistics have improved. There is one that sticks out like a sore thumb.
Last season, Beck won an impressive 60.6 percent of his faceoffs, the best faceoff efficiency in the OHL.
Tragically, this season his faceoff numbers have dropped all the way to… 60.03 percent, and thus, he ranks a lowly second overall in the OHL.
2. Lane Hutson, Defenceman, Boston University (NCAA). Drafted: 62nd overall (2022) Age: 18
Points This Week: 0 GP, 0G, 0 A. Season Totals: 16 GP, 7 G, 11 A, 18 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 2nd (-1)
Lane Hutson makes way for Beck at first through no fault of his own.
He’s currently preparing for the World Junior Championship with Team USA, where he’s expected to play a top-4 role which should include some power-play usage.
Team 🇺🇸 lines for their pre-tournament game against 🇫🇮 tonight.
I like the way they’ve put these together. pic.twitter.com/fgNE8FQegF
— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) December 19, 2022
3. Sean Farrell, C/LW, Harvard University (NCAA). Drafted: 124th overall (2020), Age: 21
Points This Week: 0 GP, 0 G, 0 A Season Totals: 11 GP, 7 G, 11 A, 18 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 2nd (-1)
The Harvard Crimson are on their holiday break, which means Sean Farrell will not play again until he faces the Boston University Terriers on Dec.30.
Unfortunately, seeing as Hutson is busy elsewhere, Habs fans won’t be able to watch two of the most exciting players in the Canadiens prospect pool, but they will be able to watch Farrell faceoff against 2020 second-round pick, Luke Tuch.
Tuch has three goals and nine assists in 16 games this season.
4. Joshua Roy, Right Wing, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL). Drafted: 150th overall (2021), Age: 19
Points This Week: 0 GP, 0 G, 0 A. Season Totals: 26 GP, 18 G, 25 A, 43 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 4th (Unchanged)
Like the vast majority of the Canadiens’ top prospects, Joshua Roy is currently preparing for the World Junior Championship, which starts on Dec.26 in Halifax and Moncton.
Roy should play an important role in Canada’s bid to defend their goal medal, and if his warm-up games are any indication, he’s ready and raring to go.
— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) December 19, 2022
5. Filip Mesar, Right Wing, Kitchener Rangers (OHL). Drafted: 26th overall (2022). Age: 18
Points This Week: 0 GP, 0 G, 0 A. Season Totals: 17 GP, 10 G, 12 A, 22 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 5th (unchanged)
Stop me if you heard this before, but Mesar is in the Maritimes getting ready for the 2023 World Junior Championship.
Seeing as his childhood friend and fellow first-round pick, Juraj Slafkovsky, is staying in Montreal over the holidays, Mesar will play a pivotal role in Slovakia’s bid to make the playoff round.
6. Adam Engstrom, Defenceman. Rogle BK Angelholm (SHL). Drafted: 92nd overall (2022), Age: 18
Points This Week: 0 GP, 0 G, 0 A. Season Totals: 23 GP, 3 G, 2 A, 5 PTS. (Rogle BK U-20: 7 GP, 4 G, 9 A, 13 PTS)
Previous Rank: 6th (unchanged)
Adam Engstrom is currently with Team Sweden preparing for the… c’mon, you already know where he is.
7. Oliver Kapanen, Centre, Kalpa (Liiga). Drafted: 64th overall (2021), Age: 19
Points This Week: 3 GP, 2 G, 0 A . Season Totals: 31 GP, 7 G, 7 A, 14 PTS. (Finland U-20: 5 GP, 5 G, 2 A, 5 PTS)
Previous Ranking: 9th (+2)
Unlike everyone else, Kapanen is NOT getting ready for the World Junior Championship.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have breaking news.
We’re getting confirmation that our previous information was erroneous, and Kapanen IS, in fact, about to take part in the World Junior Championship.
Oh, and he’s set to play on Team Finland’s top line.
Finland/USA lines for their pre tournament game tonight. VAN prospect Aku Koskenvuo starting in goal for Finland. pic.twitter.com/gzXb92TBSI
— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) December 19, 2022
8. Jared Davidson, Centre, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL). Drafted: 130th overall. Age: 20
Points This Week: 2 GP, 0 G, 4 A. Season Totals: 25 GP, 16 G, 23 A, 39 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 8 (+1)
Shockingly, Jared Davidson was held off the scoresheet in the Seattle Thunderbirds’ 4-1 loss to the Everett Silvertips, although it wasn’t for a lack of trying seeing as he had an impressive nine shots on net.
And the word shockingly isn’t being used with the usual coating of sarcasm when discussing a productive Canadiens prospect.
It was only the fifth time this season Davidson failed to register one point.
He followed up his version of a scoring drought with a four-point effort in the second leg of the back-to-back games against Everett, the seventh 4-point game of his WHL career.
9. Riley Kidney, Centre, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL). Drafted: 63rd overall (2021), Age: 19
Points This Week: 0 GP, 0 G, 0 A. Season Totals: 28 GP, 13 G, 28 A, 41 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 9th (-1)
Riley Kidney has not played since being among the last round of Team Canada cuts, but there’s been some significant chatter, rumblings, tire kicking, or chitchat, and perhaps even some palavering when it comes to Kidney’s future in the QMJHL.
As it stands, several teams are interested in his services.
10. Cedrick Guindon, Centre, Owen Sound Attack (OHL). Drafted: 127th overall (2022), Age: 18
Points This Week: 2 GP, 0 G, 2 A. Season Totals: 31 GP, 11 G, 27 A, 38 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 10th (unchanged)
After a slight dip in production last week, Cedrick Guindon return to his usual scoring ways with a two-point effort against the Windsor Spitfires.
— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) December 17, 2022
He was also saved from falling out of the top 10 when the Canadiens decided to call up the AHL’s leading scorer, Anthony Richard.
At 25 years old, we must weigh Richard’s success a little differently than most prospects, but there’s no denying he’s doing everything possible to earn a legitimate audition in the NHL.
Best Of The Rest
10. Justin Barron 12. Vinzenz Rohrer 13. Logan Mailloux 14. Jakub Dobes 15. Xavier Simoneau
Vinzenz Rohrer is currently… please don’t make me say it.
He’s playing hockey.
At a world championship.
Perhaps even a world championship that involves junior players.
Justin Barron makes a push for the top 10 thanks to his excellent AHL scoring pace, and Jakub Dobes reappears on the list for the first time in a month, owing to a great streak of games for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Do you agree or disagree with the Canadiens prospect rankings? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for the next edition.