Montreal Canadiens select Port Hope native Owen Beck 33rd overall in NHL Entry Draft

Montreal Canadiens' 33rd overall pick Owen Beck speaks to the media during the second round of the NHL Entry Draft on Friday, July 8, 2022 in Montreal. Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Port Hope, Ont., native Owen Beck says he was shocked to hear his name called by the Montreal Canadiens to open day 2 of the NHL Entry Draft on Friday.

In front of their hometown fans at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens’ staff selected Beck in the second round, 33rd overall. Beck, a six-foot-one centre, posted 51 points (21 goals) in 68 games with the Mississauga Steelheads in his rookie season of the Ontario Hockey League. In 10 playoff games, he notched another six points.

Read more: Canadiens select Slafkovsky with the No. 1 pick at the NHL draft

The 18-year-old Beck immediately after leaving the stage told RDS that the feeling of being drafted was “unbelievable.”

“It’s unbelievable — just being picked by the hometown team is more than I expected,” said Beck. “Just the love and support from the amazing fanbase here is unbelievable. I don’t even know what to think right now.”

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Beck says he twice spoke with the Habs management during the season, most recently at the NHL combine.

“Their meeting was a little bit harder than others (teams),” said Beck. ” I told them I was a little bit shocked that they picked me, that you were asking the hard questions. But they said I answered them well and they were happy to have me. So I’m happy to be here.”

The two-way centre described himself as a “200-foot-player” with “explosive skating ability” and a “good shot and vision.” He lists Edmonton Oilers’ superstar Connor McDavid as his favouriter NHLer.

“I feel I have good hockey IQ and I feel can provide both ends of the ice for a team and play just about anywhere — power play, penalty kill — up and down the lineup,” he said. “I think that’s really going to help a team. A big part of my game is that 200-foot style and I think being able to shut down opponents and team’s top lines is important for a team.”

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Beck was named to the OHL’s second rookie all-star team and was named both the OHL’s and the Canadian Hockey League’s Scholastic Player of the Year.

“Being smart in school translate into being smart on the ice,” he said. “I mentioned my hockey IQ is a strength of mine — that’s something I can use to my advantage.”

Beck is expected to return to the Steelheads for the 2022-23 season.

“I’m super excited to be a part of the organization,” he told fans in a Canadiens tweet. “You’re a great fanbase and I can’t wait to get started.”

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