With the Maple Leafs, for now at least, operating without their first two draft choices, the pressure for the scouting staff actually intensifies.
Can the team find jewels in the later rounds.
We spoke to a large sampling of players who may or may not be available should the Leafs choose 62md in the June 25,-26 entry draft in Los Angeles. Here are their stories.NAME:
Sault Ste. Marie, OntarioHEIGHT:
202 lbs.CENTRAL SCOUTING RANK:
7 goals, 19 assists, 26 points, 64 PIMs, 64 games.
Brock Beukeboom is resolute.
“I would rather be a good player who is a great person than be a great player who is a good person. At the end of the day, I want to be happy with myself.”
Beukeboom is coming off his second season as a defenceman, a position he embraced on the advice of his dad, Jeff, a 14-year NHL vet who made his living as a physical, fight-first defenceman. Both men patrolled the blue line for the Soo Greyhounds.
While Brock defers to his Dad and cites him as his biggest influence, the two are radically different players. Jeff rode shotgun for Brian Leetch in New York and used his big body to stall the opposition foray into the Rangers zone until his fleet partner could return from his latest sortie. Brock is a better skater who is more offensively oriented but the old man’s four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers and the Rangers is nothing to sneeze at.
“Without my Dad’s influence I wouldn’t be doing this interview,” Brock said. “If I am a good player, it’s thanks to him.”
Jeff Beukeboom was never afraid of leaving his gloves to gravity and at 6-foot-4, he regularly drew rowdy cheers of Boooookeboooom, both with his hits and his fists.
“He was never a big fan of stage fighting, where two guys decide to fight in the face-off circle and neither am I,” said Brock. “It (fighting) is something you may be called upon to do. Sometimes you have to stand up for each other.”
His father’s career was ended by a punch from behind by Matt Johnson . Brock Beukeboom knows the perils of the sport.
“I see it from time to time, it’s the first thing that pops up on Google when I type in my Dad’s name. My Dad could have died. It’s just one of the things you never want to see.”
But Beukeboom knows his father grew two inches late and with his size and skating skills, the Booooookeboooom chant may live for another generation.