Owen Beck's coach compared him to a Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Published May 26, 2023 at 10:05

Since the last NHL draft, Owen Beck's name has garnered significant attention. He was the 33rd pick by the Canadiens in 2022 and has shown impressive growth.

Starting the season in high gear with the Mississauga Steelheads, he maintained a pace of 1.37 points per game, alongside displaying extreme responsibility over the 200 feet of the ice. Beck was then called back for the medal round with Team Canada junior for the U20 tournament, a noteworthy accomplishment given he was the last player cut from the camp just a few weeks prior.

Upon his return to the OHL, the 19-year-old center player was traded to Peterborough in a significant transaction.

At first glance, this trade seemed to bode well for his offensive production, as he was joining a team superior in that aspect. However, it turned out to be quite the opposite, with his production pace dropping to 0.83 points per game with the Petes.

Despite the challenging times, Peterborough's head coach, Rob Wilson, never expressed concern over Beck.

He gets called up last minute to the World Junior. While he's gone, he hears rumors that he will probably be traded. We pick him up. It's a different system, different structure, a different club. He's trying to adjust. Gets called up by Montreal in the National League, comes back, continues to adjust. It's a lot for a young man. - Rob Wilson

The Canadiens' prospect revealed critical information explaining the significant shift in his offensive production.

We play much deeper in our territory and more compact in the neutral zone. It was an adjustment because my production came a lot from the rushes and counterattacks when I was in Mississauga. - Owen Beck

Even though he's producing less, this change in style of play will be particularly beneficial for the young man as he now plays a more professional game, which will help make his transition to the NHL much smoother.

There's more structure in defense here. The old adage says that offense wins games and defense wins championships. I haven't changed my game, my role a little, my style of play a little too, but it's for the better. - Owen Beck

Moreover, in Peterborough, they are eager for Beck to model his game after a specific NHL player that could excite Canadiens fans. Rob Wilson asked him to play exactly like Ryan O'Reilly.

We want you to play exactly like him. - Rob Wilson

As brilliantly explained by journalist Alexandre Gascon, "in other words, like a Conn Smythe Trophy winner. Like the best scorer of the playoffs at the time. Like an inspiring and inspired leader, defensively responsible, without apparent flaws."

Imagine having a future center like O'Reilly in the Montreal Canadiens, capable of leading a highly efficient third line to counter opposing attacks, while also contributing offensively thanks to his skating, game intelligence, and excellent shot.

It seems the Canadiens have a promising young player in Owen Beck.

May 26   |   129 answers
Owen Beck's coach compared him to a Conn Smythe Trophy winner

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