Owen Beck Has Taken Off Since Joining Saginaw Spirit

Beck has 14 points in his last 10 games, eight of which have come in his last five matches.
Saginaw Spirit v Ottawa 67's
Saginaw Spirit v Ottawa 67's / Chris Tanouye/GettyImages

Montreal Canadiens prospect Owen Beck has split the 2023-24 season between the Peterborough Petes and Saginaw Spirit.

Since joining the Spirit at the Ontario Hockey League Trade Deadline his production has increased dramatically. Not that it wasn’t already impressive with the Petes, but he has been white hot. Riding a 15-game point streak, Beck has only been held scoreless four times since being traded.

What’s most impressive is that his offensive production hasn’t hindered his defensive game. If anything it has aided him, especially in his transitional play. Because he supports his defensemen down low, he acts as a support pillar that slingshots through the neutral zone to create. 

It’s unclear whether he will play in Montreal or Laval next season, but his offensive efficiencies are a step above Jake Evans and Colin White. Training camp ahead of the 2024-25 campaign will certainly be the ultimate determining factor. But unless Beck secures a role on the third line, it would be beneficial to his development to play bigger minutes down in Laval. 

An argument can be made that he would be better off starting in Laval to sharpen his offensive tools. Logan Mailloux is a great example of a player who transitioned from the Ontario Hockey League to the American Hockey League and has been able to chip away at a professional-level two-way game. Beck has proven capable of playing a reliable 200-foot game and didn’t look out of place during his lone NHL game. 

For that reason alone, it makes a lot of sense to let him adjust to professional hockey in the AHL, and then bring him along. At the end of the day, having a confident player is most important for development. Unless he leaves Canadiens management with no choice but to stay in Montreal, the Laval Rocket seems most likely.

Beck’s blend of speed and high hockey IQ is NHL translatable, so there’s minimal doubt he will make it. His offensive game taking off like it has, and the confidence that he has gained in using his shot is huge. It couldn’t have come at a better time; with the OHL season drawing to an end.

Beck will have the OHL playoffs to prove he can continue his scoring when the games are more competitive. Stepping into the AHL in October, with more talented teammates should provide him with more offensive zone chances. Expecting a 30-goal scorer would be a reach, however, there appears to be more than NHL fourth-line centre potential as his floor.

With Nick Suzuki and Kirby Dach on the top two lines, adding Beck into the mix will give the Habs three very good pivots down the middle.