The Scouting Report:
Beau Akey from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, born on February 11th, 2005, is a top defensive prospect eligible for the 2023 NHL entry draft in Nashville. Currently playing for the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League, Akey has proven dominant as an offensive defenseman in the OHL. Akey posted a stat line of 11 goals and 36 assists for 47 points in 66 games, a respectable number for a defenseman. Listed at 6’0′ and 170 pounds, Beau Akey has proven valuable as a defensive prospect in this draft class.
Ranked #44 by Inside The Rink
Ranked #33 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
Ranked #94 by TSN/Craig Button
Ranked #33 by Daily Faceoff
Ranked #52 by Recruit Scouting
Ranked #55 by FC Hockey
Ranked #55 by TSN/Bob McKenzie
Conrad Jack of Inside the Rink has Beau Akey projected at 40th overall.
Beau Akey should lamp all of the lights when you’re looking for a modern defenseman. He’s naturally gifted as a hockey player and works hard to expand his skillset beyond. While Akey is more gifted offensively, he is still a solid right-shot defenseman. I don’t see Beau Akey falling outside of the second round for this draft class.
I’ve already highlighted a few things that Beau Akey does at a remarkable level. However, I want to take a look at Beau Akey’s attributes and areas for improvement.
Versatility & Reliability:
Beau Akey is incredibly versatile and isn’t afraid to jump up in the play acting as a fourth forward. Akey has strong transition passing from the defensive zone outwards, making him reliable on the penalty kill and an odd-man rush when you need to clear the puck immediately. Beau Akey has also proven himself incredibly reliable, he mostly accepts simplicity that doesn’t force any major offensive risks. Akey is calm under pressure and knows how to anchor the blueline to aid his teammates. Beau Akey can always improve in these areas, but being incredibly effective and reliable is something that most coaches want in their players.
“He’s a gifted skater with great agility, east-west ability, strong edge work, flawless crossovers, and his backward skating may just be the best among OHL defenders available for the draft. His 4-way mobility is up there with all of them as well.”Dominic Tiano – OHL Writers
Related Story: 2023 NHL Draft – Nashville
Areas for Improvement:
There’s only one thing that stands out to me when watching Beau Akey’s highlights, his hockey senses just aren’t fully developed. When playing as a defenseman who is a little more offensively inclined, you need to be able to read the play in a split second. Akey is usually caught panicking back to his defensive position when he gets out of position for jumping up in the play. This is where being coachable helps a player and his teammates, if Akey can smooth out this area of his game, he will be an incredible NHL defenseman sooner rather than later.
One thing that I want to mention is that Beau Akey is a great skater, his skating is the bread and butter of his game. He’s incredibly mobile and has the speed to be a real two-way threat on the ice. This is what championship teams look for and want in their two-way players.
Beau Akey is a great player, there are just a few things in his game that he can improve on to make himself a steal of a prospect in this draft class. There shouldn’t be many shocked faces if Beau Akey is taken in the late first-round or early second round.
Stats via Elite Prospects
Highlights via MyNHLDraft.com