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Owen Beck Memorial Cup MVP: not a good showing for a Canadian prospect
Credit: Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images
Hockey is coming to an end. There are only two teams left in the NHL (Edmonton and Sunrise), but more and more, hockey outside the NHL is coming to an end.

Last night, as reported by my colleague Raphael Simard, Owen Beck was very important in a win for the Saginaw Spirit in the Memorial Cup final. He scored two goals and was named MVP of the tournament.

For the first time since 2017, when Windsor won the tournament, the Memorial Cup was not won by a QMJHL club. This ends four straight titles for the Q, which is no mean feat.

All this to say that seeing Beck win the MVP is a good sign. However, that doesn’t mean it will automatically make him an NHL All-Star.

Look at the last few Montreal Canadiens prospects to win the tournament’s MVP title. They all had very short careers with the Habs.

Tucker played in Toronto, but the others have little NHL mileage.

Am I saying that Beck will automatically be a player who won’t have a long career because he won tournament MVP as a Habs prospect?

I’m not saying that.

What I’m saying is that you have to take some and leave some with a tournament that lasts a few days. The same can be said of a player who breaks all records at the World Junior Championship, for example.

Obviously, seeing him play well is more important than the opposite. We all agree on that.

But that doesn’t have to change everything. The Habs can’t tell themselves that he’s suddenly better than he really is… and the other NHL teams mustn’t overrate him if his name ever comes up in discussions between Kent Hughes and his 31 counterparts.

The way I see it, Beck has had a big 23 months since he was drafted by the Habs. He’s gotten a lot of experience (Memorial Cup, game with the Habs and CMJ) and he’s won a lot in junior.

Now it’s up to him to prove himself in Laval in 2024-2025, to show that he can be more than just a fourth center in the NHL one day.

In gusto

– It can’t be easy losing in the semi-finals.

– Edmonton and Sunrise aren’t just around the corner.

– Who are the good centers in the next draft? [NYT]

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