The Montreal Canadiens have made a bit of a surprise move, recalling prospect forward Owen Beck from the OHL’s Peterborough Petes on an emergency basis. Per the team’s announcement, Beck will join the Canadiens in Ottawa, where he will possibly make his NHL debut.
Beck, who will turn 19 years old in a week, is one of the Canadiens’ more highly-regarded prospects. Beck was the first pick on day two of the 2022 NHL draft, 33rd overall, and was ranked in the first-round mix by multiple publications.
Scouts raved about Beck’s responsible two-way game, mature character, faceoff acumen, and possible offensive upside. While Beck has had a slow start in Peterborough after a blockbuster mid-season trade, he scored 41 points in 30 games this year for the Mississauga Steelheads.
Beck had an impressive training camp and preseason in the fall and later earned his way onto Canada’s Gold Medal-winning World Junior Championship team, after being initially excluded from their main lineup. While this recall is hardly great news for the Petes, who paid multiple players and draft picks to acquire Beck, it does speak to the high opinion the Canadiens organization seems to hold of their recent second-round pick.
The Canadiens have suffered significant injuries to their forward corps, and this recall comes after earlier today when the Canadiens’ three established centers, Nick Suzuki, Kirby Dach, and Christian Dvorak, each missed practice for treatments. If one of those three centers is unable to play for the Canadiens in their next game, Beck could see time down the middle.
Otherwise, he could shift to the wing and give the Canadiens the opportunity to play with six defensemen. The team had been operating with seven blueliners for many recent games, but with Joel Edmundson possibly injured as well, the addition of Beck gives coach Martin St. Louis new options with how to structure his gameday lineup.
The NHL-CHL’s agreement for emergency recalls gives Beck a maximum of five games to play with the Canadiens. Since the team has two games and then a break, and since the agreement stipulates that he cannot miss more than one OHL game, it’s likely that Beck will be back in Peterborough in short order.