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Barring a major turnaround, Owen Beck must return to the OHL
Could we please calm down with Owen Beck.

I’m not saying this to insult him, and I’m not saying this to think he doesn’t deserve the attention he’s been getting over the past few months. The fact is, the youngster is progressing in the right way and showing that he has the tools to become one of the NHL’s good players.

It’s not for nothing that he’s being talked about around the league as a super prospect:

But when some people say he could carve out a position with the CH this year, I find that a bit far-fetched.

He was good last year in the OHL. But it’s not as if he terrorized the league, and it’s not as if he was the most dominant player on the Ontario circuit.

Why rush things? Especially when he’s had a tougher time of it after the trade that sent him to Peterborough…

Owen Beck is 19 and still eligible to return to junior for next season. Unless there’s a major surprise, or the guys are dropping like flies at training camp, he’s got to finish his OHL apprenticeship before making the jump to the pros…

Because there’s no rush right now. Absolutely nothing.

Especially since there’s a mini-congestion at the center right now. Nick Suzuki, Alex Newhook, Kirby Dach, Sean Monahan, Jake Evans, Christian Dvorak… These guys can all pilot a trio if you ask them to.

It’s not as if there’s a crying need at that position.

So much the better, if Beck impresses management enough to earn a spot with the CH this year. Management will have to assess which option has the potential to foster his development, and if it’s the NHL, it’ll be the NHL.

But if it’s the NHL, then it’s the NHL. But if it’s the NHL, then it’s the NHL. He can’t just spend a few minutes on the ice every night… He has to get playing time in order to progress. It’s often said, but the NHL is not a development league.

In fact, it really isn’t. And we’ve seen it in recent years with the Habs, who decided to throw certain youngsters into the lion’s den too quickly.

I want to see Beck shine because he works hard and because he’s an attractive player on the ice. The Habs have a good one on their hands… But they need to find a way to coach him properly.

I’d like to see him break into the OHL next season. I’d like to see him wear a Canadian uniform and play an important role at the next World Junior Championship.

In the end, it’s up to the Canadiens to make the final decision, but whatever happens, the message remains the same.

A decision will have to be made to help him, not the other way around.

In gusto

– Really cool news.

– Carl Hagelin announces his retirement.

– I like ideas.

– It will be a great experience.

– With good reason!

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