Adam Beckman is a surprising story. Adam Beckman was a 3rd round selection in last year's draft. He came into the draft as kind of an unknown. He came off an excellent rookie season leading the Spokane Chiefs in goals with 32. This led him becoming welcomed to the Wild organization due to his uncanny ability to find scoring areas to utilize his excellent shot not to mention being a good 200-ft player. Now with him catching fire and blowing up the WHL Beckman finished the season (suspended season) with 107 points with 48 goals being scored in 63 games. As he catches our attention now how can we project the player he'll be moving forward as he takes the next step? Is he a draft steal?
Beckman is the Chiefs cornerstone player right now. His numbers have been impressive this season:
Goals: 48 (1st in the league)
Assists: 59 (t-3rd in the league)
Points: 107 (1st in the league)
Plus/Minus: 44 (5th in the league)
Shots on goal: 316 (1st in the league)
Power play goals: 16 (2nd in the league)
Game-winning goals: 9 (2nd in the league)
Beckman didn't skip a beat. It seems when he was given more opportunities as a sophomore he took them and ran with them. Not only has Beckman been the Chiefs go-to guy, but has been a player to come in clutch. I know plus/minus isn't a popular stat and can be misleading sometimes, but being a +44 I could imagine Beckman filling the net or being a positive contributor offensively for his teammates. You know driving play possibly. He makes an impact when he's on the ice. What's most impressive is his assist numbers. There were a couple of scouts who noted his playmaking abilities.
From ISS Hockey: "Quick, creative playmaker with very good puck skills. Demonstrated ability to use puck skills at speed through the neutral zone while attacking defenders. Plays bumper on the power play effectively as he makes decisions and moves the puck quickly. Accurate passer, has the potential to be a dynamic playmaker down the road."
"Creative playmaker", "Puck skills at high speed", and "Dynamic playmaker". These skills Beckman possess translated to his assist numbers. I'll even note that last season Beckman finished 5th on the Chiefs in assists with 30. So he knows how to distribute the puck due to decision making instead of making careless plays with the puck and putting his team in a worse situation.
Here's another draft scouting report on him from his coach Dan Lambert. This is more of an inside look of the player he is right now.
"The one thing about Adam is he’s got great offensive instincts and he showed that last season (in Battlefords)… You don’t always know if it’s gonna translate in the Western (Hockey) League at a higher level, but his instincts are that good. He seems to know where the net is."
"Great offensive instincts" shows he possess natural tools to be an impact player when he touches the ice. Looks like he has the vision to make smart plays and of course possess a natural scoring touch as he knows how to shoot the puck to score. This is what the Wild been needing for a long time. Someone who has natural offensive instincts to be a difference-maker. Can he be that player at the next level is the question.
In two of his WHL seasons Beckman has 1.28 points per game. He's scored 80 goals in 132 regular season games. Has 89 assists for 169 points. He's a hair above current Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto with 1.27 in history. His PPG totals rank 10th in franchise history. That's very impressive. In terms of next level play I like to look at playoff stats because the playoffs shows how much a player can thrive under pressure and on the big stage. In last year's WHL playoffs Beckman scored 12 points in 15 games for the Chiefs. During his previous playoff seasons here's the rest of his scoring numbers from Elite Prospects.
Beckman was a 5th rounder for the Chiefs. So it's not like Beckman was a highly touted player by the Chiefs, but they had confidence in him due to his consistency from previous levels. Seems that thanks to hard work and him clearly having confidence in his game Beckman has become a star for his team and very well the WHL. So what does he need to work on moving forward?
When Beckman was selected by the Wild his skating was described as above-average, but has room for improvement. Also his physical game needs some work. The NHL is the fastest league in hockey and most physical. If you have great instincts, but can't keep up with the highest level pace enjoy being more of a top-9 guy which is still good. Improving physically is very important as well. However, with Beckman's emergence I would want him to take the skating aspect serious if he wants to be a difference maker. Hit the gym too kid. Beckman has top-6 upside if he improves his skating and can handle bigger opponents at the next level. All-in-all he sounds like an NHL player.
Here's more articles about where he is right now in his development: