Beau Akey is a right shot defenceman the Leafs may select at 28th overall

Photo credit:© Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
10 months ago
When you have a draft class as deep and talented as the 2023 one is shaping 0ut to be, there is a good chance that quality players that typically go much earlier may fall further down the pecking order. That means a team like the Leafs could have themselves a great talent that was forced to sit in the stands for much longer than normal.
A two-way defenceman who is projected to be a late-first-round or early second-round pick and is playing for a team not far from Scotiabank Arena could be someone they snag up, which is where we shift our focus for today’s prospect deep dive.

Scouting Profile

Beau Akey is a Canadian right-shot defenceman who is currently a member of the OHL’s Barrie Colts. The 18-year-old has an average size for a player of his position with a height of 6’0″ and weighing 170 pounds. He wrapped up his second full season in junior with 47 points (11 goals and 36 assists) in 66 games while adding on five points in 13 playoff games.
Akey’s best-selling attributes are his strong skating mechanics that allow him to keep up with the play at both ends of the ice. His pivots don’t slow him down, he is explosive getting down the lane, and can switch directions on a dime with efficient footwork. This makes him a guy who can easily force opponents to the outside,  getting sticks in tight gaps to disrupt the play, and applying pressure on the opponents trying to get the puck out of the offensive zone with an assertive pinch. It certainly helps that at the opposite end of the ice, he is precise with his passes and has a solid point shot that can be tough on goalies. Skating is the name of the game in today’s NHL and Akey certainly has that going for him.
He does have a good starting point right now, but there are some areas of his game that could use some retooling. His offensive game is at a good starting point as mentioned earlier, he could improve upon his playmaking abilities and manning the line with authority on a consistent basis. Now it is true that Brandt Clarke was Barrie’s top blueliner which stole some chances for Akey to prove himself, but he certainly could have done more to surpass one of L.A.’s top prospects. There are also times when he allows the gap control to get away from him and the defensive anticipation is not as potent, which might explain why his plus/minus was in the negatives this past season.
Still, there is plenty of time for him to work out the kinks in his armour and round out into a reliable two-way defenceman on the second pair. His skating alone should go a long way in helping him improve his present shortcomings and further elevate his pre-existing strengths.

What the scouts are saying

Ranked #38 by FCHOCKEY
Ranked #33 by DAILY FACEOFF
Ranked #55 by TSN/BOB McKENZIE
Ranked #48 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #94 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON
Ranked #33 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #51 by HPR/SHANE MALLOY
Ranked #34 by SMAHT SCOUTING
Nick Richard, Dobber Prospects: “Smooth-skating blueliner who moves the puck efficiently. Potential as a top-four defenseman if he continues to improve his overall processing speed.”
Steven Ellis, Daily Faceoff: “While most eyes have been on Brandt Clarke in Barrie this year, it’s hard to ignore Akey jumping up 30 points this year. He does an excellent job of rushing the puck down the ice from his own zone and he panic-passes the puck far less these days.”
Scott Wheeler, The Atheltic: “A top player on a top team in the OHL this year, Akey is a beautiful, flowing skater with plus-level mobility in all four directions. He can transition pucks up ice, join in transition, walk the line, and fall back onto his heels and edges whenever he needs to. I like him defending the rush, where he uses his feet and stick to manage gaps and steer opposing carriers. I like the way he sees the ice and joins the offence. He can run a power play and likes to make himself available as a shot option at five-on-five. His game defensively does lack a little polish and attention to detail at times, but there’s a lot to work with and his ranking here is an indicator of the strength of this draft.”
Chris Peters, Flo Hockey: “One of the better skaters among defensemen in this draft, Akey has a good foundation with his footwork. He competes well and can contribute offensively as he had 47 points in 66 games with Barrie this season. Defensively, he still needs work, but the skating tool is such that a team would be very excited to get the chance to work with him and help him round out his game.”


Akey would likely get drafted a lot earlier in most years, but with the quality and amount of depth available for teams in Nashville, a player like him will have no choice but to wait a bit for his name to be called. The Leafs would be intrigued at the prospect of selecting him because there is enough of a baseline that his potential is the second pair.
His skating mechanics are impressive and it allows him to be effective in the defensive end while also having a quality point shot. His overall offensive game could use some improvement and he needs to minimize the defensive lapses, but the speed will do wonders in helping him correct his ailments as a player.
A player of Akey’s calibre would be a welcome addition to any team that selects him, and the Leafs are no different. If he is still on the board at 28th overall, they would be wise to take a chance on him and use their development staff to help round out his game and reach his potential.
Stats from Elite Prospects.

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