Owen Beck’s Potential Continues To Grow

Beck's brilliant play begs the question - Is there more than third line centre potential brewing in the OHL pivot?
Saginaw Spirit v Ottawa 67's
Saginaw Spirit v Ottawa 67's / Chris Tanouye/GettyImages

Top-flight centres evaded the Montreal Canadiens for a long time, that's until Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton stepped into the picture.

Since the duo took over for the Habs, they have more than filled the centre cupboard. Nick Suzuki, the club’s number one centre was already in the fold. But Kirby Dach, Vinzenz Rohrer and Owen Beck are Hughes and Gorton’s acquisitions. 

Beck in particular has been an absolute revelation for the club’s centre hopefuls of the future. Dealt to the Saginaw Spirit from the Peterborough Petes at the Ontario Hockey League lit a fire under the 2022 second-round selection.

Currently, in the back nine of the OHL regular season, Beck is red hot. This is a great sign for the Spirit who are hopeful to win the league championship and assert themselves in the Memorial Cup tournament. As the club’s number one centre, Beck continues to grow into an increasingly polarizing prospect. 

Based on his responsible, defensively stout play down the middle alone, he could have become a great NHL centre. But the emergence of a very good offensive game could translate to more than just a bottom-six centre. His shooting and playmaking have taken considerable strides in the right direction since the Canadiens drafted him. 

Beck’s current point streak has spanned 18 games. His assist total matches the same amount as his point streak. And he has chipped in 12 goals. 

When the Canadiens drafted Beck, there was belief throughout the fanbase that he had top-nine centre potential. But the way he has produced in the OHL this season has prompted belief that he could potentially become a second-line centre. In Montreal, with Suzuki and Dach slated as the top two centres, Beck’s brilliance translating to the NHL would give the Canadiens some seriously enviable centre depth. 

There’s been two drafts since the new management group has taken over but the work they have done is immense. Depth is certainly not an issue throughout the organization. For that reason, the Canadiens have tremendous promise and a strong 2024 draft class would only further solidify that.

Beck will soon be knocking on the door and, although he has played just one NHL game, he could be a huge addition to the roster sooner than later. His shooting will be welcomed by the club, considering the number of passers on the Canadiens. Mix in his stout two-way game and the speed that he plays with, and you have a very reliable 1-2-3 punch down the middle for many years to come.