If Taylor Beck can make the team out of training camp, can the big-bodied left winger make a true impact on an offensively-diminished Predators lineup?
Called up near the end of Nashville’s tumultuous spin to the depths of the Western Conference cellar last season, Beck served well as a big-bodied depth player while the injured bodies tried to rest up and return for the final few weeks. The 6’2″, 203 pound left winger not only played well in capacity during his sixteen games with the Predators, but he raised a few eyebrows in the process. Not registering his first point until his third game with Nashville, Beck would collect his first multi-point outing (a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win against the Blue Jackets on March 23rd) and would rattle off four more points in the next five games. Beck’s talent analysis via Hockey Futures sums up his playing abilities and potential in one short paragraph:
“Beck is a budding power forward, with a willingness to go to the net. He has demonstrated his goal scoring ability at every level thus far, and has shown in training camp that he has the ability to be a force to be reckoned with. Beck has the talent to be an elite scorer, though his skating could still use some work.”
Coming into training camp in just two short weeks, Beck is facing the daunting task of fighting for one of the few roster spots left available after Nashville’s free agency binge in early July. The question isn’t whether he can make the team out of training camp or not, but whether or not Beck is ready to shoulder the load of a full NHL season after only sixteen games last season for the Predators. While Beck impressed in his time with the team last season, does Nashville have room for another rookie trying to make an impact on a squad that finished tied dead last with Florida for the least amount of goals scored in the league?
His sizable frame and commanding presence on the wing, along with the potential to be a dynamic play-making forward, gives him an advantage that Nashville has been sorely missing for the past few seasons. With the current logjam of forwards that could befuddle the Predators come mid-September, Beck could potentially find himself in Milwaukee regardless of how well of a camp he has. There’s an argument for both sides of the coin, which makes Beck an interesting commodity for Nashville.
Wristing a high shot over the shoulder of Vezina-trophy winning goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, Beck’s first NHL goal was one to remember.
Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua
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