Taylor Beck proved to be just what the doctor ordered for the Nashville Predators fourth line during the 2014-15 season.
The 24-year-old forward brought an element of skill and scoring touch that complemented Nashville’s designated shutdown trio (usually rounded out by Paul Gaustad and Eric Nystrom or Gabriel Bourque). The unit consistently faced defensive zone starts and yet managed to spend considerable time in the opposition’s end.
Beck also showed his versatility by playing on both special teams units at times, including acting as a net-front presence on the power play. He made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in the Predators first round series with the Chicago Blackhawks and will seek to round out his game as he matures.
Currently a restricted free agent, what happens over the next few months will determine if Beck suits up in Preds Gold this fall.
Stu Grimson's Three Thoughts:
- Beck filled a vital role this year. He was asked to step in and play on a “shut down” line on the right side with Gaustad, a role he’d never played in before during his career.
- No. 41 was particularly effective during the absence of Eric Nystrom (due to injury). Beck is a player whose importance will grow as time wears on.
- He is certainly a guy you’d describe as “hard to play against.” Beck drives the net, creates space for the people he plays with and filters pucks to the net. You can never have enough of those type of players.
From his knees, Taylor Beck dishes the puck to Matt Cullen for a goal versus the New York Rangers (voted the No. 7 play of the season).
According to No. 41:
- Would choose flying as his super power.
- Calls Anchorman his favorite movie, Luke Bryan his top musician and Mexico his ideal vacation spot.
- Wants to someday play a round of golf at Augusta National Golf Course.
By the Numbers:
- 8 - The number of goals and assists for Beck during the 2014-15 campaign; both totals were new career highs.
- 5 - Games played in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs; the St. Catharines, Ontario, native was one of eight Preds to make their postseason debut this season.
- 3 - Points registered on Nov. 18 in the Predators 9-2 win versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. In his first career multi-goal game, Beck was the only player to tally more than once for Nashville in the contest.
In a game versus the Los Angeles Kings late in the regular season, Taylor Beck joined the ranks of hundreds of hockey players before him by losing one of his front teeth. The funny part was, Pekka Rinne was a big fan:
“I was eating dinner last night and I started chewing on my new tooth that they put in (after it fell out again), so I went back this morning and got it put back in,” Beck said with a laugh. “It’ll be a couple weeks until I get it [permanently in], but it’s part of the game.”
Beck’s unfortunate run-in with a biscuit paved the way for some friendly jabs from his teammates, including one who was disappointed that the forward elected to fix things up.
“For Becker, I think it cleans him up a bit,” defenseman Ryan Ellis quipped. “He’s a pretty scary looking guy and maybe it adds a little personality to him.”
“He didn’t rock it too long,” Rinne laughed. “He got it fixed pretty fast, and I guess he didn’t like it. I always like it, it makes guys look funny and I wish they would keep it out.”
Easy for a goaltender, who always wears a mask, to say.
“No, [I’ve never lost one],” Rinne said. “Knock on wood.”
Social Media Moments:
Pekka Rinne's preferred look for a hockey player:
Apparently dressing up as a trio is a holiday tradition for these three:
Nashville's most popular couple gives Beck a lift back to Canada for the holidays:
Top 5 Photos: