Owen Beck Reminiscent of Suzuki

By JD Lagrange – The Montreal Canadiens – finally – made some substantial cuts from their training camp. With the team only having two more games left to get ready for the regular season, the remaining group will be heading to Mont-Tremblant in hope to solidify team chemistry, away from unnecessary distractions.

Some of the young men who were cut on Saturday had a good camp and have left a good impression on both the coaching staff, the team management and the fans.

  • David Reinbacher‘s play was very reassuring to many, he who will be returning home for one more season to play in the Swiss league.
  • Joshua Roy had a good camp and he will be starting his professional career with the Laval Rocket in the AHL.
  • For a second year in a row, William Trudeau has a solid camp. His situation is not without reminding us of Justin Barron a year ago. He’s likely not pleased with being sent down but his goal should be to be the first defenseman called up when needed.
  • Jakub Dobes has also performed well at camp and with the so-so play of Cayden Primeau, he represents a good security in the event Primeau is claimed on waivers if the Canadiens try sending him to Laval.
  • Filip Mesar started slow but finished strong at camp and he will be trying to earn a spot in Laval when their training camp starts on Monday. It will be there or back to junior for the former first round pick.
  • Jared Davidson and John Parker-Jones also had a good training camp and both will be trying to earn a spot on a young and talented Rocket team.

Owen Beck

I have kept Owen Beck separate because many people on social media have expressed their displeasure in seeing the young man being sent back to the OHL. Ideally, Beck would have gone to the AHL but the rules being what they are, it was Montreal or the OHL for the promising prospect.

Beck is good on faceoffs, a skill that won’t be lost in junior. But let’s be honest here and let’s admit that he could generate more offensively. With 41 points in 30 games in Mississauga last season, he was up to a smoking start offensively and then got traded to Peterborough. In 30 games for the Petes, he only managed seven goals and 25 points, a sub-par production for him.

Beck’s situation today is not without reminding me of a current Canadiens player, Nick Suzuki. Back at camp in 2018, Suzuki impressed by his mature play. Many felt like he could have made the team back then. But Canadiens’ coaches and management decided to send him back to Owen Sound in the OHL with a list of things to work on. To his credit, the young man worked on the aspects of his game he was asked to perfect. That year, he played at the World Junior Championship (WJC) and when he came to camp a year later, he was more than ready.

Beck needs to work on generating more offensively. Much like the Canadiens captain, he has the hockey IQ and the skills set to apply what he will be asked to work on. I have little doubts that the Habs’ prospect will have a solid season and he should play at the WJC at Christmas time. He will return better and stronger in a year from now.

I, for one, am from the André Tourigny school of thoughts of playing young players at a level where they can succeed in order to maximize their development and confidence. I am pleased to see that this management group is not rushing prospects. I felt like they made the wrong decision last year with Juraj Slafkovsky by not sending him to the WJC and even Laval at some point in the season. Perhaps they’ve learned from it…

Beck Call-Up Raises Questions

By JD Lagrange – The Montreal Canadiens are struggling with injuries big time, as we’ve recently covered, and the Laval Rocket is being picked apart in the process. They have tried Anthony Richard and sent him back to Laval. Today, they have Justin Barron, Jesse Ylönen and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard in the line-up, all called up from the Rocket. Last night, the Canadiens surprised many by announcing Owen Beck as an emergency call-up from the OHL.

Beck, we will recall, was one of the last prospects to be cut at training camp. He had an excellent camp and many fans already had him penciled into the opening night roster as a NHL regular. So why should we be surprised that he was the one junior player selected to join the Canadiens, will you say? Well, he just wasn’t doing so well recently. In fact, his offensive production has been quite… underwhelming, to say the least.

On January 7th, Beck was traded by the Mississauga Steelheads to the Peterborough Petes, who paid a hefty price to acquire the Canadiens’ prospect. The Petes gave up Jack Van Volsen, Justin DeZoete, Peterborough’s second and third round picks in 2025, Erie’s second round pick in 2025, and Peterborough’s fourth round pick in 2026. But that’s not so much the issue. As we’ve covered in our weekly feature “In the System“, Beck offense disappeared after the trade and that’s a bit concerning.


In fact, Beck’s 0.43 points per game production since the trade is on par with Corey Schueneman and Jayden Struble, to give you an idea…

More deserving?

It seems like there might have been some more deserving prospects in the CHL to be called up, based on recent performances. As a measure of comparison, look at Riley Kidney’s production since being traded from Acadie-Bathurst to Gatineau.

Riley KidneyAcadie-BathurstQMJHL311431451.45
Joshua RoySherbrookeQMJHL322330531.66
Jared DavidsonSeattleWHL382534591.55
Cedrick GuindonOwen SoundOHL441736531.20
Filip MesarKitchenerOHL261115261.00

Of course, it’s not all about offense and there are likely other factors to consider, like position. Although Kidney is also a center, and Roy, Davidson, Guindon and Mesar can play both center and wing too. Proximity? That would then only eliminate Davidson, who is out West, from that list.

So why Beck? Is it possible that the Canadiens have seen something in Peterborough that they didn’t like? Has Beck taken some bad habits? That’s possible, but doubtful. Could it be his utilization that worries the Habs’ brass? Is there a philosophical conflict with Petes’ head coach Rob Wilson that would justify calling Beck up ahead of others perhaps a bit more “deserving”?

It wouldn’t be the first time that a NHL team gets involved with a junior team about the development of one of their young prospects. While not publicized, NHL teams pretty much dictate if a top prospect should be traded and where, in junior hockey. In this case, it sure seems like Beck isn’t fitting in well with Wilson’s system or style, based on offensive output since the trade, at the very least. Or I could be totally off here. Either way, it sure raises some red flags in this old hockey mind…

It’s the second time this season that Beck is called up somewhere in an emergency situation. We will recall that he was cut from Team Canada for the World Junior Championships, but was asked to join the team when Colton Dach (Kirby’s younger brother) got injured. Beck ended up winning Gold with Canada.

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