Fri 29 May 2009
From 1985 through 1999 there was a Beukeboom patrolling NHL blue lines and wreaking havoc for opposing forwards as a member of the Edmonton Oilers and the New York Rangers. In the not too distant future, a Beukeboom will be on the horizon looking to hunt down enemy forwards.
No, Jeff Beukeboom is not making a comeback. Rather, it is his son Brock Beukeboom who may be coming to a NHL defense corps in the coming years. The 2010 draft eligible defenseman was one of 40 players invited to tryout for Canada’s Under-18 team during this summer.
Beukeboom was a member of the 2009 Ontario team that won the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge which featured five Canadian provincial teams and fine international teams (including the United States and Russia). In 6 games, Beukeboom registered an assist.
While the 17-year-old does not resemble his father’s playing style (Brock is more of finesse player than a physical player), there is one trait that father and son both share.
“I’m still hoping to grow a couple of inches and gain a couple more pounds and get to that size my dad was,” the 6-2 and 200 pound youngster told Donna Spencer of The Canadian Press. “He put on two more inches at my age.
“But other than that, I think he and I are completely different players.”
Brock is looking to follow in fatherâ€™s famous footsteps. Papa Beukeboom played for Sault Ste. Marie from 1982-1985 â€“ earning OHL First Team All-Star honors in the 1984/1985 season.
Brock Beukeboom was the Greyhoundsâ€™ 2008/2009 nominee for the OHLâ€™s Bobby Smith Trophy which is awarded to the leagueâ€™s Scholastic Player of the Year.
Brock’s pedigree does not make a lock to make the team, but he the fact that is in the fix does speak well for him according to Al Murray (head scout for Hockey Canada).
“You wouldn’t have known it was his first season as a defenceman,” Murray said to Spencer. “He was well-positioned and very calm with the puck and made smart decisions and moved it. He’s a big defensive defenceman who has some bite.
“He’s certainly not a lock to make the team. Very few guys come into this camp that are a lock because at this age there are a lot of players very close together.”
In his rookie OHL season with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Beukeboom played in 55 games and scored two goals and 9 assists to go along with 26 PIM. The younger Beukeboom was the Greyhounds first round selection in the OHL’s 2008 Priority Selection draft.
Brock Beukeboom is one of four invitees who have a connection to the NHL: Forward Christian Thomasâ€™s father is former NHL forward Steve Thomas, forward Brandon Ranford is the nephew of former NHL goaltender Bill Ranford, and goaltender Calvin Pickard is the brother of Nashvilleâ€™s 2008 first draft pick goaltender Chet Pickard
As we approach the start of June, my attention turns to the 2009 NHL Draft. While I am in the process of taking a look at the 2009 draft eligibles â€“ and it is a bit early for me to make any predictions â€“ I tend to be leaning towards a position that will see the Rangers reverse their mistake of 2003.
For the uninitiated, that was the year that Glen Sather and the Rangers front office rolled the dice and came up snake eyes as they selected Hugh Jessiman with the 12th overall pick. In the process, they passed over the likes of Dustin Brown 913th), Zach Parise 917th), Ryan Getzlaf (19th), Mike Richards (24th) and Corey Perry (28th). Each of these players are power forward types or smallish goal scorers.
Looking ahead to the 2009 Draft, the Rangers might want to do what they didnâ€™t do in 2003 â€“ draft the son of a former NHL player. Imagine the Rangers fate if they had selected Parise (son of Rangers 1975 playoff tormenter J.P. Parise). There are two sons of former NHLers who fit into one of the two above-mentioned categories. The first is Carter Ashton (6-3/200) whose father Brent was a veteran of 998 NHL games. As you might imagine, Ashton is a power forward.
The other player is Landon Ferraro (6-0/170) whose father Ray (a former Ranger and Islander) played in 1258 NHL games. Ferraro is one of the better snipers in the draft.
It is still way too early to talk more in depth about the Draft â€“ that is left for later articles in the coming weeks. Heck, it is even possible the Rangers will trade up or down out of the 19th spot. A lot of fans have been chatting on various blogs about the Rangers moving up to the third pick to draft center Matt Duchene so that the Blueshirts can reunite him with his Canadian Junior teammate Evgeny Grachev.
There are a couple of things working against the Rangers. First off, the Colorado Avalanche still have not replaced GM Francois Giguere. Secondly, it is doubtful a new GM is going to want to trade out of the third spot and drop down to the 19th spot â€“ and if he did â€“ the rangers would be giving away a large chunk of their prospects.