Canadiens: Undrafted, Overlooked: Owen Allard Making Most Of World Junior's


Passed over in both the 2022 and 2023 NHL Draft, Team Canada forward Owen Allard is taking it all in.

Canadian head coach Alan Letang has given Allard all the hype. That is in large part due to his play pre-tournament and through one tournament game. Allard has played on a line centred by Canadiens 2022 second-round selection Owen Beck and Detroit Red Wings 2023 first-round selection Nate Danielson. Letang also has a soft spot for fellow Renfrew, Ontario natives.

The line has been relentless and fantastic in all three zones, Allard, Beck and Danielson are natural centres. So they play smartly through centre ice, and all three forwards have fantastic transitional speed. Allard is the net front battler and at his best on top of the opposition's crease.

Allard has recorded just a single goal, but he has been effective in more ways than one. And it seems likely that he will be selected in the 2024 draft. It wouldn't surprise me if he were off the board late the first day or early the second day.

His story has been one of sheer determination, hard work and a never-quit attitude. We all love a feel-good story, and Martin St. Louis has lived it. I'm not saying anything, but I'm also not not saying anything. Allard will be available Kent, and you can bet Marty will know how to coach this kid.

With a major chip on his shoulder and the entire nation behind him, Allard could become a Canadian hockey hero. Don't get it twisted, I'm not suggesting that Allard will become an NHL star, but he has fit swimmingly with two drafted talents. He doesn't look like a third fiddle to Beck or Danielson.

Sure there is an argument to be made that Allard is solely a beneficiary of the quality of linemates. But Beck and Danielson have sung their praises about Allard. And with Letangs' comments, it's hard to argue their thoughts.

Allard plays the game the right way, in the offensive zone he shields the puck with his body, holding off defenders. His long reach allows him to keep a distance between the checker and the puck. He is a smart passer and opportunistic shooter.

The 6-foot-2 and 201-pound left-shot centre plays a mature game and uses physicality to elevate his game. He is quick and makes an honest effort to be in the right position. In the Ontario Hockey League with the Soo Greyhounds, Allard has posted above point-game-game totals, with 30 points in 29 games.

So he is riding a wave of confidence, and the Canadians must be thinking this couldn't have come at a better time. Simply put, Allard has been a revelation, and it's a pretty good Christmas present for the 19-year-old. Getting to represent his country for the first time, while raising his stock in front of the entire country; while in another country.

With his team on the powerplay, Allard tipped home a Matthew Wood one-timer, set up by Oliver Bonk. Allard has his second point in two games, following up his ppg rate in the OHL. And there is still 18:20 to go in the middle frame.

He did take a peculiar penalty, two minutes for playing the puck with his hand off the faceoff. With Latvia already penalized, the teams played 1:40 of 4-on-4. It looked more like a power play for Canada, which was huge for the penalty kill.

It's impressive to see how well he has been playing, and I scratch my head when thinking about him being passed over by 32 teams twice. Well 32 with Seattle and 31 the previous year. Allard appears to have been invited for his penalty killing prowess, but he has been a huge part of his lines success.