Each day in the lead-up to the NHL Draft on June 25-26 in Los Angeles, Yahoo! Sports will feature one of the Central Scouting Bureau's Top 100 North American prospects from the Canadian Hockey League.
Brock Beukeboom abides expectations that come with his last name.
The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds defenceman has spent a young lifetime dealing with the expectations as a result of being the son of Jeff Beukeboom, who played 804 NHL games across a 14-year career and was part on Stanley Cup winners with the 1990 Edmonton Oilers and '94 New York Rangers. He's learned to take it in stride.
"Everyone is going to criticize you no matter where you go, especially since I play for the same junior team my father did [Soo Greyhounds]," Brock Beukeboom, who is NHL Central Scouting's 41st-ranked North American skater, said recently.
"When I have a bad game, people say, 'he's not the same player his father was.' Well, I'm not the same player my father was. He was one of the toughest guys when he played. I'm tough too, I'm not going to fight every night, but I'll fight when I need to. He and I are two different styles of player. There's no pressure for me when I'm on the ice, 'Do I need to play like my dad?' No, I need to play like myself."
The 6-foot-1, 202-pound native of Uxbridge, Ont., saw his draft stock rise over the second half of the season. He was also selected for the CHL Top Prospects Game, where he won the hardest shot competition. He also was part of a strong defence corps in the Soo that had a lot to do with the Greyhounds finishing fifth in the OHL's Western Conference.
Prior to last season, Beukeboom helped Canada win the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka under-18 tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, delivering a big hit that helped set the tone in a crucial win over Russia.
With such a puck pedigree, there is speculation either of Beukeboom could be drafted by Edmonton or New York, his father's former teams. He projects as a second-round selection.
1. What is the biggest asset you bring to a team?
"I am at my best when I'm physical -- if I'm not physical I'm average at best -- and just being a solid two-way defender, just keeping everything simple."
2. In your mind, what would scouts say you have to work on between now and when you'll be on the cusp of turning pro?
"Just being consistent game in and game out. I started strong last season, went into a mid-season slump, then after Christmas, regained my composure and the game really picked. Just being consistent is big, especially since I'll be in more of a leadership role next year."
"I just lost focus [during that aforementioned slump]. I do mental training before each practice and game and I kind of lost track of that. My dad was the one who called me up and said, 'What's wrong?' and that helped me get my composure back."
3. Whom do you consider your biggest hockey influence?
"My dad always says, at the end of the day, take a look in the mirror. Someone on the other side of the world is is working harder twice at hard as you. Never be satisfied with yourself.
"When I was a kid, being the son of a NHLer was the best thing ever. Every Saturday morning, you'd get to go to the dressing room, you'd get to play with the trainers, other kids, go out on the ice, just run around and have the most fun of your life. Now that I look back on it, it was a real experience for me to know firsthand, through my father, what it took to play at a NHL level."
4. What was the more surprising question you were asked when you interviewed with NHL teams at the Scouting Combine?
"Buffalo asked me, 'If there's a hundred-dollar bill lying on the ground, would you pick it up?' I said yes, I wouldn't hesitate to pick it up."
5. Favourite TV show or movie?
"How I Met Your Mother. Gotta love Barney, just so outgoing, doesn't care what anybody says, he just does his own thing."
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Sports Canada. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.
- Jeff Beukeboom