Oiler Hockey
Published Sep 26, 2023

Is Beau Akey Any Good?


This is what Corey Pronman had to say about Akey in his Oilers 2023 draft grade:

"Akey is a defenseman with a lot of offensive talent. He’s a very skilled puckhandler and distributor who doesn’t shy from jumping up into the attack. He looks to make plays and attack. Akey is a strong skater who is dangerous in transition. Inside the zone, he can make tough plays with the puck while also having a hard point shot that can beat goaltenders clean. I wouldn’t call his pure puck-moving as dangerous as his transporting, though. Defensively he’s fine, but not as strong as his offensive play. He’s got enough reach and mobility to make stops as a pro. I think he plays games due to his various strengths. To be a long NHL career type, the offense will need to be significant, which I see a case for, but am not 100 percent sold he will be that kind of player yet."

You can read the full article from Pronman here:https://theathletic.com/4638026/2023/06/28/edmonton-oilers-nhl-draft-2023-grades-picks-analysis/

Pronman points out the strengths of Akey but isn't completely sold he can make it as an NHL defensemen which is likely why he was picked late in the 2nd round rather than the first.

Akey really started to get attention though in the Oiler rookie camp that just wrapped up before training camp.  I thought he was the best player on the ice for Edmonton in the tournament which is saying alot seeing as he was the youngest Oilers prospect there.  There were a couple of younger invites in the camp.  Akey's 3 points (2G, 1A) put him in a 3 way tie with Matvey Petrov and Carter Savoie for the Oilers rookie tournament points leader and his speed, offensive awarness and defensive ability really stood out to me.

In his one preseason game in the Oilers main training camp Akey did not look out of place playing with and against actual NHL players.  He played over 17 minutes in that game and head coach Jay Woodcroft had this to say about his performance:

"You can see why he was drafted where he was, he has poise, he’s competitive, he made a lot of really good plays with the puck and was unafraid of the stage. That’s a good sign for our team. He’s displaying a level of maturity that I didn’t expect to see. In a 1-1 hockey game at a time of year when you can experiment with things, he didn’t look out of place. He’s shown very well."

Whats Next?

Akey was sent back to the OHL's Barrie Colts on Monday where he's expected to play lots of minutes both 5 on 5 and on the power play.  His goal right now is to make the team Canada roster and play in the World Jr tournament.  Patience is the key with prospects especially defensmen but I think Akey has shown enough to be considered a steal at pick 56 and could potentially be a difference maker in the NHL in a couple of seasons.


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