Top 10 Prospects - #5 Owen Beck

Owen Beck capped off a great year scoring two goals in the Memorial Cup clinching game. What's next for the Port Hope, Ontario native?
2024 Memorial Cup - Final
2024 Memorial Cup - Final / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

Owen Beck ended his junior career on a high, winning the Memorial Cup in his final game of junior hockey.

Now, the focus shifts to his first season of professional hockey, which he likely could have played this year. But should've, would've, could've - Beck slow-cooked with the Saginaw Spirit and the hope is that he will come in ready to take on a top-six centre role. Perhaps he will continue to grow offensively and prove to be an excellent option at third-line centre for the Habs.

But one thing that remains a certainty is Beck's 200-foot game, which is what endears him to his coaches. It's also largely what drew the ire of Habs management and ultimately prompted them to select him with the 33rd overall pick in 2022. His dominance in the faceoff circle and commitment to playing a responsible brand of hockey were too good to pass up.

Now, nearly two years later Beck is coming into his own offensively, showing off a quick, heavy release. His playmaking is also coming along, while it's not elite, he is capable of making tape-to-tape passes at high speeds and corralling passes while in motion. Beck's speed and competitiveness are what stand out most and will likely be what earn him a spot in the NHL.

Not to get too far ahead of myself, the focus for this upcoming season is to establish himself as a top-flight centre for the Rocket. I expect that he will be given the minutes he deserves and should he play to his potential, his fingerprints should be all over the penalty kill and he will be utilized for many important faceoffs. During his time in the Ontario Hockey League, he proved to be a playoff performer, which should excite JF Houle; considering his squad is hoping to make a splash in the Calder Cup playoffs.

Beck ranks fifth and it's a testament to the strength of the defenders in the system, but also the lack of forward talent. With that said, the focus at the 2024 Draft should be on adding high-potential forwards. But that doesn't mean that Beck won't one day be a staple on the Habs' third line.