The Minnesota Wild just concluded their preseason schedule and the start of their regular season is just around the corner. As with all preseasons, many players looked to impress and make their way onto the big club. For the Wild, those players were Matt Boldy, Marco Rossi, Brandon Duhaime, Calen Addison, and Adam Beckman.
Each of those names made an impression on the coaching staff, one, however, really stuck out but didn’t make the final cut just yet. That name is Beckman, a feisty left-wing who made sure he was noticed and made every second of playing time count.
Beckman’s Style of Play
For a player who wasn’t heard of far and wide, Beckman’s name will be recognized from here on out. He played in three games for the Wild during the preseason and he scored four goals in those three games. One of those was the overtime winner against the St. Louis Blues.
Most new players to the big leagues don’t get a chance to score any goals in their time up. That’s what makes Beckman so special. Despite the pressure of playing with some of the Wild’s tenured veterans, he didn’t let that get in his way. He dug in and played his game, which is what all the coaches want to see.
Watching Beckman play in these preseason games, he’s a player that commands your attention. The way he moves with swiftness and finesse up the ice. He’s a quick player that sneaks up the offensive zone, rarely attracting attention, and by the time the defense notices, he’s already snuck a puck past the goalie.
Deserving of Roster Spot
Many may ask why he’s deserving of a spot when other players like Rossi and Boldy have big reputations in front of them. Both Boldy and Rossi showed some natural talent and there’s no doubt that they’ll crack the lineup at some point during this season. Unfortunately for Boldy, it’ll be a while before he has the chance since he was injured in the Wild’s game against Chicago on Oct. 7. He won’t be able to return for four to six weeks due to a fractured ankle.
On the other hand, Rossi was sent to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League (AHL), where he’ll have some time to get into the swing of things before jumping into the NHL. Switching back to Beckman, he’s spent time in both the AHL and the Western Hockey League (WHL), where he had quite a bit of success with the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL. He spent four seasons there, three full seasons, and one season with just one game.
In those seasons, he scored 196 points total, including 62 points one season and 107 points the next. In those two seasons, he also scored 32 goals and 48 goals, respectively. Those numbers changed a bit last season, but he also spent some of it in the AHL with the Iowa Wild. He had 27 points in 21 games in the WHL, and when he jumped to the AHL, he played nine games and scored five points.
When Beckman Could Debut
With the Wild recently signing Rem Pitlick off of waivers from the Nashville Predators, that left one spot open on the roster. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Beckman’s name that was in that final spot on the roster, it was a fellow player looking to crack the lineup, Brandon Duhaime. He’s a little older and has a bit more experience than Beckman but didn’t have quite the show in the preseason that Beckman did.
Unless there’s a dramatic shift before this Friday, Beckman will be playing in Iowa instead of Minnesota. It’s hard to say when he’ll make his debut in the NHL, but it could be sooner rather than later if a spot opens up. His play showed that he genuinely wanted to be there and he gave over 100 percent every shift he had.
Just because he didn’t make the lineup yet doesn’t mean he won’t anytime soon. He is a young, skilled, and quick forward that has a lot of potential to be a top-six for the Wild in the future. His work ethic on every shift shows how much he wants to be a part of the Wild’s roster. If he can continue doing that while playing for the Iowa Wild in the AHL, he’ll make his way to the front of the callup line and be playing for the Minnesota Wild in no time, give or take injuries and how the other players on the roster do.
The most significant impact he’ll have on the Wild’s roster is his ability to lift other players around him. His style of play makes it, so every player around him plays better. With that attitude, he’ll hopefully be in a Wild sweater sometime this season.
Mariah Holland is a contributing Minnesota Wild writer for THW as well as a cohost on the THW Youtube show Chicks & Sticks which produces a new show every Friday. She’s been covering the Wild at THW for just over eight months and has been on Chicks & Sticks since it started in early May. She is always looking for different angles to cover the Wild and dig deeper into the stories surrounding the team.