Should the Calgary Flames sign Jack Beck?
Photo credit:Josh Kim / The Hockey Writers
By Ryan Pike6 months ago
The Calgary Flames have until June 1 to make some decisions on a handful of previously-selected draft choices. With those decisions still looming, we thought it was time to review the players the club still needs to commit entry-level contracts to… or let them walk away.
Next up on our rundowns of pending prospect decisions: forward Jack Beck.
A left-shot winger from Toronto listed at 5’11” and 165 pounds, Beck played his youth hockey with the Toronto Marlboros. He was a second-round OHL Priority Selection pick by the Ottawa 67’s in 2019 and moved into the OHL as a 16-year-old for the 2019-20 season.
Beck had a promising first season in the OHL, playing a smart two-way game and chipping in with 19 points. However, his season was cut short by that whole pandemic thing. And unlike the Western and Quebec junior leagues, the OHL didn’t play in 2020-21, Beck’s first draft-eligible season. At all.
But based on the promise their scouts saw during his 16-year-old season, the Flames selected Beck in the sixth round, 168th overall, in the 2021 NHL Draft.
In two post-draft seasons, Beck has done two things: play a strong 200-foot game punctuated with offensive outbursts, and experienced some awful injury luck. He missed 32 games in 2021-22, primarily due to a kidney contusion – that is to say, he got hit so hard that it bruised his freakin’ kidney. He missed another 23 games this past season, primarily due to an upper-body injury. (The official prognosis wasn’t specific, but it came after he got hit high after a goal.)
But when he was in action, Beck was a really useful player for the 67’s, generating more than a point-per-game in both seasons. If nothing else, Beck was consistent. Consistently productive.
Beck’s numbers took a big jump in 2021-22, and his production stayed at the same level in his 19-year-old season (2022-23). Again, if nothing else, he’s found a consistent offensive level in the OHL.
The entire 2021 draft class for the Flames has, at times, seemed cursed. Plenty of promising youngsters were drafted and then have had their post-draft seasons derailed by injuries or inconsistency. There are several players that our conclusions are some version of “We don’t know what they are” because of all the time they’ve missed.
Beck’s missed a non-trivial amount of time, and he doesn’t have great size. But he’s managed to play a really effective style of hockey and found the ability to generate points consistently. His size makes him a bit of a gamble, admittedly, but his scoring prowess thus far suggests that he may be a gamble worth taking for the Flames.
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