Adam Beckman is a player that you won’t see on many public rankings at this moment, but that is likely to change in the coming weeks. Beckman seems to just do everything right when on the ice and has a knack for shot generation which is complemented by some intriguing playmaking abilities.
At the start of the year, he was overshadowed by teammate Luke Toporowski for the best draft-eligible Chiefs forward. By the conclusion of the season, however, Beckman was clearly the superior player of the two.
We’ll take a look at this mid-round bet and explain why he is someone to keep an eye on day two of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
- Age/Birthdate: 17 / May 10, 2001
- Birthplace: Saskatoon, SK, CAN
- Frame: 6-foot-1 / 168 lbs
- Position: C/W
- Handedness: Left
- Draft Year Team: Spokane Chiefs
- SJHL Champion
- SMHL First All-Star Team
- SMHL Most Goals (44)
- SMHL Most Points (78)
- SMHL Top Forward
2018-19 Stat Rundown
|GP||G||A||P||INV%||5v5 Pr INV%||5v5 ePr60||SEAL||Sh/GP||Sh%||5v5 eTOI||GF%||GF%rel||GD60 rel||XLS%||Top XLS%||XPR|
Beckman is a raw player. He seems to have all the pieces to be a good prospect but it’s not quite all put together. When you focus on him exclusively though, he shines through.
Beckman’s skating abilities are above average with good strides and some decent two-step quickness. I’ve found him to be really forward on his feet when trying to accelerate without the puck, so there is room for improvement, but that minor flaw doesn’t hold him back in any way.
In the offensive zone, he is a player that effectively uses his anticipation and read of the play to be in the right spot. When he doesn’t have the puck, he supports his linemates well and is moving to the gaps to give them outlets. He’s got some puck skills but at times, it feels like he is trying to make moves that he just can’t quite do. With some more practice and confidence, he could become more elusive with the puck.
He has shown that he can try those things with speed while entering the zone, so if he can piece it all together, it will add another layer to his offensive attack.
Beckman has a deceptive release that he can let fly while in stride or in a static position. It doesn’t have a lot of velocity to it but comes off the stick in such a way that goalies can have trouble reacting to it. He also isn’t afraid to take the puck to the net or plant himself in front to deflect pucks.
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Since he had more goals than assists this season, it would be easy to suggest that he is just a shooter when in fact his playmaking abilities are something that generally stood out to me.
He is effective in drawing defenders to him and then getting the puck to his linemate. He is able to make long passes across the offensive zone to wide open teammates that just can’t handle it. Some fine tuning to his passing abilities and playing with different players and those assist totals could’ve been higher.
An example of this comes from the March 22nd game against Portland:
Beckman makes a nice saucer pass to the defender, receives the puck back, and then passes across the box to Bear Hughes, who isn’t able to get the shot off. It’s not an easy pass to work with but these are the things that Beckman tries to do.
Defensively, Beckman is very good at reading and reacting to dangers in his own zone. He then ties up his opponent with an active stick. The Saskatoon-born winger stood out with how effective he was in getting the puck out of the zone along the boards, he would take the time make sure the puck got past the defender rather than just throwing it away.
The last thing that stood out to me as the season went along was his ability to generate shots and shot assists. The puck just seemed to find him and you knew that if Spokane got the offensive zone with him on the ice, the puck was getting to the net. He confidence in his playmaking and shooting abilities appeared to be increasing as he kept working at it.
Beckman played centre at times this season but may end up being a winger in professional hockey.
After only appearing in one WHL game last season, Beckman wasn’t really a player on my radar to start this season. But after almost every Chiefs game I saw, he was a player for which I had a bunch of notes on things he did well and very little of things he didn’t.
Beckman landed in the 44th spot in the NHL CSS North American skater mid-term rankings and rose to 34th in the final. As you can see in his point breakdown below, he took a noticeable step forward in the second half and playoffs, all while mostly playing in a second line role for the Chiefs:
Another stand out thing about his game was his goals-for WOWY numbers.
I’m always encouraged by players who make their teammates better when with them but he posted really strong goals for numbers on his own, which are two positive things to look at from his standpoint.
His production at a per-60 minute rate was among the best on his team.
So, purely from an underlying number and production standpoint, Beckman produced at a high rate based on his ice-time, controlled the goals differential while on the ice, made everyone he played with slightly better in goals-for-percentage, and got better as the season went along.
Pivoting to using the pGPS, based on his production this season:
His cohort indicates about a 30% likelihood of becoming an NHL regaular. His list of statistical matches includes some intriguing names like Nino Niederreiter, Kris Versteeg, and Ryan Johansen appearing among them.
Beckman finished 5th among first time draft eligible WHL players in primary points per game and goals per game. I pointed to his playmaking abilities, but his assist numbers were a bit lower than others; I feel that is in part due to the players he was playing with. In the playoffs, he was able to get some time with Jarett Anderson-Dolan and they were magic together. Both read off each other well and were able to play with pace.
So although the numbers may suggest that his playmaking abilities might not be a strong suit, I think if he was deployed with more skilled, high IQ players, Beckman could thrive.
There are a lot of attributes to his game that leads me to believe that he can take a big step forward next season and then have many people looking back at him as being an under the radar pick.
He’ll need to add some strength to his frame to take that step forward, but he has the frame to accomplish that without issue. I could see Beckman trending towards being a middle-six winger in the NHL.
Additional Charts and Data
Rolling Season Data
Raw data for the charts used in this article came from eliteprospects.com and WHL.ca. Other data sources include prospect-stats.com.
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