After starting the year with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg in the KHL, Ontario Hockey League grad Taylor Beck has moved east to play for Kunlun Red Star in Beijing, China. He might be far from home but Beck is not alone. There are four other OHL alumni currently playing for Red Star, including: Brett Bellamore, Jesse Blacker, Lucas Lessio and Wojtek Wolski.
Taylor Beck played four years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2007-08 to 2010-11, all with the Guelph Storm. He was a second round pick by Guelph at the 2007 OHL Priority Selection, 31st overall. Over his four years, Taylor scored 110 goals and assisted on 157 for 267 points in 246 regular season games. He added 14 points in 22 playoff games.
In 2009-10, Beck finished tied for ninth in the OHL with 39 goals, equaling Cody Lindsay of the Ottawa 67’s ad Justin Shugg of the Windsor Spitfires. His 54 assists placed him tenth and he tied Nazem Kadri of the London Knights and Zack Torquato of the Erie Otters for fourth with 93 points. He was named a Second Team All-Star and won the Jim Mahon Trophy as the top scoring right winger.
In his final season, his 42 goals put him in eighth spot while his 53 assists tied him for seventh with Ryan Murphy of the Kitchener Rangers, Mark Scheifele of the Barrie Colts and Josh McFadden of the Sudbury Wolves. His 95 points put him in seventh in the race for the Eddie Powers Trophy.
The Nashville Predators selected Beck in third round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, 70th overall. His first pro action came in 2010-11, after the Storm were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round. He played in four regular season and eight Calder Cup playoff games in the American Hockey League with the Milwaukee Admirals.
Since 2011-12, Taylor has played pro hockey in the AHL, NHL and KHL. His National Hockey League experience includes 92 regular season games between 2012-13 and 2016-17 with the Predators, New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers. He also appeared in five Stanley Cup playoff games.
In 2016-17, Beck appeared in three games with the Oilers and two with the Rangers. It was in the AHL that he had an outstanding season. Taylor started the year with the Bakersfield Condors, scoring 13 and assisting on 37 for 50 points in 40 games. After switching to the Hartford Wolf Pack, he added six goals and 10 assists for 16 points in 16 games.
Beck was named a First Team All-Star in the AHL in 2016-17. His 47 assists tied him for third in the league and his 66 points placed him tied for fourth in the race for the John B. Sollenberger Trophy. Unfortunately, neither team that he played for reached the post season.
This season started with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg in the KHL. In 20 games with the club, he scored three and assisted on four. Since his move to Kunlun Red Star, Beck has contributed five points in six games.
Kunlun Red Star
Under head coach Bobby Carpenter, Kunlun Red Star is playing in their second season in the KHL. In their first campaign, the team qualified for the Gagarin Cup playoffs but were quickly bounced in the opening round. Home games are played at the LeSports Centre in Beijing, China, an 18,000 seat venue that opened in 2008. The team is currently eleventh in the 14 team Eastern Conference, 40 games into the season. They sit 13 points out of playoff position.
As mentioned, Taylor Beck joins fellow OHL grads Brett Bellamore, Jesse Blacker, Lucas Lessio and Wojtek Wolski in the Red Star roster. Bellamore played four years in the league from 2005-06 to 2008-09 with the Plymouth Whalers. Blacker played four years from 2007-08 to 2010-11 with the Windsor Spitfires and Owen Sound Attack. Lessio played three years from 2010-11 to 2012-13 with the Oshawa Generals. Wolski played four years with the Brampton Battalion from 2002-03 to 2005-06.
Taylor Beck OHL Stats