As our Affiliate Spotlight rolls on, we highlight another forward in the Fighting Saints pipeline. Ryan Beck, who spent a weekend with Dubuque earlier this season, is a forward out of Linden, Michigan. Beck is currently playing with Belle Tire U16, a team in the Tier 1 Minor Midget League. Beck has had a solid season for the U16 squad, posting 37 points in 20 games. He has played up with the U-18 team as well for eight games this season. We sat down with Beck and talked to him more about his life in hockey thus far, his plans for the future and what it was like to play in a series against the top team in the USHL this season, the Muskegon Lumberjacks.
What is your earliest hockey memory, or a few of your earliest ones?
Earliest hockey memory would be playing for 4 teams in the spring and driving from rink to rink every day.
Take us through your hockey journey, teams you played for etc.
I started out playing for the teams in my area around the age of 5 then played for Kensington valley rebels up until the age of 10, which was when I made the jump to AAA hockey and played for victory Honda for 2 years and won a state championship. Next I went to the Oakland Jr Grizzlies for my next 4 years of youth hockey where we ended up winning our league and state championships and went to nationals 2 years in a row. I am currently playing on Belle Tire U16 with the same coach I had been with for the past 5 years and we’re ranked top 15 looking to advance to nationals.
For people who haven't seen you play, describe your playing style.
I am a two-way center that sees the ice and likes to make plays. I like to score the big goals and be a key part of a team’s offensive scoring as well as being a plus player and taking care of the D zone first. I try to make the players around me better and contribute for the team in any way possible. My game is strong coming out of the corners and taking smart shots as well as using my points and finding the open guy.
We got to see you play against Muskegon in early December, what was that experience like?
It was a great experience to realize what the next step in hockey is like and the preparation that goes into each game. It was eye opening to see what i need to work on to play that level of hockey, learn from the players around me and learn the systems, it was a great weekend.
What was one thing you learned in your brief time with the Saints that maybe you didn't before?
I learned the preparation that goes into each game and how all the little things matter. One mistake can lose a game or one little play on the wall can win a game.
In the next year, what is something you want to grow in or improve on?
I want to work on my overall game and making plays quicker getting faster and stronger.
Who is a hockey player you admired growing up and why?
I admired Nicklas Backstrom because he is one of the best 2 way centers in the game and he is an impact player that takes care of both ends of the ice and is a player i try to model my game after.
What has been your most memorable hockey experience?
My most memorable hockey experience was winning league playoffs and states in the same year.
Stanley Cup Finals prediction and winner?
I'm predicting San Jose sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto winning.