Feature | Montreal, Canadiens, Habs, Team Canada, Mississauga Steelheads, OHL, Owen Beck, IIHF, World Juniors, Colton Dach

Owen Beck, Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Getty Images)

ROCKET SPORTS MEDIA | MONTREAL, QC. — Early in the third period of Team Canada’s convincing 5-1 victory over Sweden, centre Colton Dach sustained an injury while delivering a body check that will keep him out for the remainder of the tournament.

Dach is a prospect of the Chicago Blackhawks, chosen in the second round, 62nd overall at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-1, left-shooting pivot had been enjoying a strong tournament posting two assists in four round-robin games. Dach was most recently skating on the fourth line with Ottawa Senators prospect Zack Ostapchuk and 2023 draft-eligible Adam Fantilli.

The Call

The injury prompted the host nation to call up a familiar face to Montreal Canadiens fans, Mississauga Steelheads two-way centre, Owen Beck.

“I was still surprised when the phone rang and it was Hockey Canada on the line. For sure, I was so excited to come join the guys,” said Beck.

Beck, the Habs 2022 second round pick (33rd overall), was among the last cuts at not only the World Juniors camp last month, but also at Canadiens training camp in the Fall. Beck earned a three year, entry-level contract for his impressive efforts.

Beck joined his Team Canada teammates on Sunday and will be a game-time decision to suit up for a highly anticipated quarterfinals match on Monday versus a strong Slovakian squad, prominently featuring fellow Habs prospect Filip Mesar.

This will be Beck’s first chance to represent Canada at the international level.

Season to date

The 18-year-old 6-foot, 185-pound, right-shooting centre has been a stabilizing force on a struggling Mississauga Steelheads team with sky-high expectations. It’s a team that features fellow highly-selected NHL draft picks forward Luca Del Bel Belluz (2022 44th overall to Columbus), and defenceman Ethan Del Mastro (2021 105th overall to Chicago).

While the team’s inconsistent performances have led to a sub .500 record (15-16-3-0) to date, Beck has enjoyed a breakout campaign. In 30 games, he has posted 17 goals, paired with 23 assists for a combined total of 40 points. In the 2021-’22 season, Beck had 21 goals, 30 assists for 51 points in 68 games.

While leading the club in all offensive statistics, Beck is also pulling his weight on the defensive end with a plus-6, second on the squad behind overage left-winger, and fellow assistant captain, James Hardie.

Beck is also often relied upon to kill penalties, take deep defensive zone face-offs, and to shutdown the top lines of opposing OHL squads. He is often recognized as one of the top two-way forwards in the entire league by opposing coaches and, early on, projects to be a strong middle-six centre in the NHL.

Expectation

Beck has a very strong first step that helps him achieve top speed very quickly. His strong acceleration and positioning awareness makes him a breakout threat on every shift. While his shot leaves a little to be desired, he has a knack for finding the back of the net in various ways and is a very strong playmaker. The Innisfil, Ontario native also consistently finds the teammate in the best position, versus just making a pass.

Beck has a very strong hockey IQ that should allow him to slide right into centering Team Canada`s fourth line. It’s the same spot occupied by the now injured, Colton Dach.

Beck’s strong defensive abilities will allow coach Dennis Williams to use that line in more situations if desired.

“We think what Owen brings can fill the void left by the absence of Colton Dach. Just like Dach, (Beck) can play center or wing. We found that his camp with us was very good, “said Williams.

Opportunity

If coach Williams does decide to keep the same lineup intact — a strong chance considering how well the team played versus Sweden — Beck will have a chance to skate with the highly skilled Adam Fantilli.

The two players could be a match made in heaven! While Fantilli, a product of the Chicago Steel of the USHL, has struggled at times to find consistency this holiday season, there is no doubt he has the ability to create space and has strong puck-handling skills. Paired with his strong release and very dangerous one-timer, Beck may have just found his perfect line-mate. The similarities in their respective games seem to match well on paper.

“I think my game is going pretty well. I come here with a high level of confidence,” said Beck.

Could this be the missing piece to bring even more chemistry to Canadas bottom-six forward group?

By Mike Raschle, Staff Writer
All Habs Hockey Magazine
Copyright © 2023 Rocket Sports

2 COMMENTS

  1. According to Elite prospects website Owen Beck stats this season are 30gp 17g 23a 40pts. Last season were 68gp 21g 30a 51pts. Not even close to what you’re reporting. Where did you get his stats from?

  2. Thanks for the correction . My mistake. Correction has been made. It was actually teammate Hardy that scored 41 last season. Beck is very close to a 40 goal pace this season though!
    Thanks for reading.

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