Names To Know: Canadian Forward Beckett Sennecke Is A Creative Puckhandler With Top-Six Upside

By Will Chase on June 10, 2024 at 1:45 pm
YouTube/HSD Prospects
2024 NHL Draft prospect, Beckett Sennecke, played for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL.

Welcome to the 13th installment of our "Names To Know," 2024 edition, a look-ahead at prospects who the Columbus Blue Jackets could select in the upcoming NHL Draft.

Today, we're looking at Beckett Sennecke from Canada, an 18-year-old forward standing 6-foot-2, 181 lbs.

In 2023-24, Sennecke played for the OHL's Oshawa Generals, scoring 68 points (27 goals, 41 assists) in 63 games. In 16 playoff games, he had 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists).

The Athletic's Corey Pronman wrote about Sennecke in his May prospect rankings:

Sennecke's pure point totals on the season don't jump out at you, but he was very good in the second half and was a top player in the OHL playoffs. He's 6-foot-2, skates quite well for his size and has game-breaking skill. He's one of the more creative puckhandlers in the draft, and that he can make those difficult plays at full speed makes him highly intriguing for the NHL level. He sees the ice well and is creative as a passer, although not to the level of his 1v1 abilities. There have been times when I've questioned his compete and consistency, but he answered those questions as the season continued. His stock is sharply trending up, and he looks like a player who can be a difference-maker at the next level.

The Athletic's Scott Wheeler wrote about Sennecke in his May rankings:

Sennecke is a high-skill individual player with size who, after an up-and-down start to his draft season, became a game-changer from the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on and finished on an emphatic note with an excellent playoff performance with the Gens, regularly pulling people out of their seats. He’s got one of the most exciting pure skill sets in the draft. One of the more productive rookies in the OHL last year, Sennecke was a standout on a young Oshawa team, earning Second All-Rookie Team honors and playing both wings successfully (he’s a right-handed shot but often played the left wing with would-be Avalanche draft pick Calum Ritchie, although he played mostly right wing this year). He looked a little skinny when I first went to see him play last year, and he has still looked that way in repeat viewings in Oshawa and also Moncton (where I know scouts were keen to watch him closely at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and where I thought he was one of White's most noticeable players with the puck and worked hard, which was the start of a positive trend in his game), but his stride and shot, which both lacked power a year ago, have made clear progress. His release, which has always been naturally quick, now has some oomph, and his skating has really smoothed out and looks like a borderline strength, which has helped his dynamic rush game.

Sennecke can definitely handle the puck. He’s got extremely soft hands and a confidence on it, even under pressure spinning and weaving off the wall or attacking right into defenders with his stick skill — regularly finding his way out of tough spots and traffic with craft and creativity. The puck just sticks to him. He also moves well in control, side-stepping checks and sticks nicely. He's impressively dexterous and does a good job catching bad passes and handling the puck in his feet. But he does have a habit of playing one-on-one a little too much at times (though the staff in Oshawa has learned to live with it), which has frustrated some but also often thrills in sequences. He'll dangle past a defender multiple times a game, but turn the puck over trying to be a hero when there are better plays. There are also times when he needs to empty the tank on the backcheck, but he's made more of an effort to finish his checks and battle through contact as this year progressed (I've seen some games in which he has battled and others in which he hasn't, and I know that frustrated some scouts for a time because it is there, but he seemed to elevate in the playoffs). He has legitimate high-end talent on the puck, he was one of Oshawa's only real play creators, and his feet and stick move in and out of unison to shade away from opposing reach-ins niftily. He also sees through coverage well and — when he's not so focused on making the individual play — can really pass it through gaps in coverage. He’s one of the only players likely to go in the middle of the first round with clear top-six upside. He comes with some questions, but the potential reward is obvious. With a little more muscle and maturity, his game could continue to take off.

Mock Draft Results
ESPN 15th
My NHL Draft 11th
Tankathon 16th 14th
The Athletic 10th
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