As an annual tradition, the Montreal Canadiens played their red and white game to precede the opening of the pre-season tomorrow night against the New Jersey Devils. There were quite a few impressive performances in the scrimmage, particularly from some players who have already been leaving a positive impression through their time at camp.
Chief among them is Owen Beck, who I hope is being pulled into a room this week to sign an entry-level contract.
He was everywhere on Sunday afternoon. His transitional and defensive play were excellent, and he chipped in with three assists for team red. Arguably the best player on the ice for either team, good things were happening every time he was on the ice.
Owen Beck doing the most, yet again. All starts below his goal line. pic.twitter.com/QnoTg6rsXe— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) September 25, 2022
An entry-level deal of course does not mean that Owen Beck would be playing for the Canadiens this season. It would, however, be a nice vote of confidence to give him before eventually sending him back to the Mississauga Steelheads.
He looks primed for a breakout year in the OHL, and I think the Canadiens should give him some extra motivation by letting him know that they believe in him. He’s been one of the most impressive players through the rookie tournament and the main camp, and I think it makes sense to put pen to paper with him as soon as possible.
As an aside, you’ll also note the presence of Anthony Richard in those Beck highlights above. He too was excellent in the game, and could be an extremely intriguing player to watch with the Laval Rocket this season.
Another impressive camp standout has been Arber Xhekaj, and he didn’t disappoint at the red and white game either. Jumping into the rush, and executing smart pinches at the offensive blue line, with him the Habs have a player who could potentially be pushing for a roster spot this very season.
Xavier Simoneau may face an uphill battle to make the Habs, but at the very least, he’s going to be a fun addition to the Rocket. He, along with Richard, could be some players who challenge for call-up time throughout the season.
Lastly, Filip Mesar has been very impressive, and we still have no idea where he’s going to start this season. With passes like this, he’s not making the decision any easier for the Habs brass.
Bonus highlight: The most Brendan Gallagher goal you’ll see.
Click the play button below to listen to my full thoughts about the red and white game, and we will be back with another BSM tomorrow night after the pre-season opener versus the Devils.