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Draft hopefuls have Rangers connection

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
VIDEO: Brock Beukeboom Profile

No. 10 Slot Has Good Rangers History

By Jim Cerny,

A pair of rugged defensemen named Beukeboom and Tinordi will be at the Staples Center in Los Angeles next week, but not because the Rangers are holding any sort of alumni game on the west coast.

Instead, the sons of former Blueshirt blueliners Jeff Beukeboom and Mark Tinordi will take center stage as the National Hockey League conducts its annual entry draft. Brock Beukeboom and Jarred Tinordi will follow their fathers’ footsteps into the NHL with both  expected to be selected before the second round is complete.

Defenseman Brock Beukeboom works out during the recent NHL Combine at Toronto. Beukeboom, a consensus second-round pick, is the son of Rangers fan favorite Jeff Beukeboom, a member of the 1994 Stanley Cup champions.
The two youngsters, who, like their fathers, both play defense, are ranked very close to one another by NHL Central Scouting. Tinordi, who played for the U.S. Under-18 program this past season, is ranked 38th among all North American skaters entering the draft, while Beukeboom, who skated for Sault Ste. Marie, is ranked 41st.

The book on Tinordi is that he plays a very similar game to the one his father did over 12 NHL seasons. At 6-feet-6, 205 pounds he is a rugged, physical defenseman who is more comfortable clearing his crease than leading the rush up ice. He is also seen as a leader, a role he played alongside Rangers prospect (and team captain) Derek Stepan in helping lead the United States to a gold medal at the 2010 World Junior Championship tournament in Saskatchewan.

Last season Tinordi accumulated 95 penalty minutes and 13 points over 56 games; and he has committed to attending Notre Dame in the fall.

Tinordi’s dad played for four NHL teams over the course of his career, originally signing with the Rangers as an undrafted free agent on Jan. 4, 1987. Tinordi appeared in 24 games with the Blueshirts during his rookie campaign of 1987-88 and racked up 50 penalty minutes. He was traded to Minnesota at the end of the season and went on to play with the North Stars, Dallas Stars, and Washington Capitals before retiring. Tinordi the elder played in 663 NHL games and picked up 1514 career penalty minutes.

Brock Beukeboom is not exactly a carbon copy of his dad, the hulking 6-foot-5 defenseman who famously paired with Brian Leetch for years on the Rangers’ back line and helped the Blueshirts win the 1994 Stanley Cup. The younger Beukeboom, listed at 6-foot-1 and 202 pounds, is viewed more as a two-way defenseman who is solid in front of his own net, but equally adept moving the puck offensively. His offensive skills might be more heightened due to the fact that up until two years ago he played forward before switching to his dad’s former position.

Invited to the CHL Top Prospects Game this past January, Beukeboom impressed by winning the hardest shot competition. In fact, Beukeboom’s game was so solid the second half of the year that his ranking by Central Scouting jumped 22 slots from mid-season to his end-of-season final pre-draft ranking.

Beukeboom finished the season with a career-best 26 points in 66 games, and he also scored a career-high seven goals. Brock’s father also starred for Sault Ste. Marie more than 20 years ago before starting an NHL career highlighted by multiple Stanley Cup championships with the Rangers and Edmonton Oilers.

Defenseman Jarred Tinordi is the son of a former Ranger in Mark Tinordi, a veteran of 663 NHL games who began his career by signing with the Blueshirts as an undrafted free agent.
Another player in this year’s draft also has ties to the Rangers – in the form of two cousins.  Right wing Charlie Coyle, the 24th-ranked North American skater, is related to both Tony Amonte, who played for the Blueshirts from 1991 to 1994, and Bobby Sheehan, a key figure in the team’s run to the 1979 Stanley Cup Final. Coyle is expected to go within the first two rounds.

While Brock Beukeboom, Jarred Tinordi and Coyle have some serious NHL bloodlines, there are other draft eligible players who have family connections to the National Hockey League, too. Most notable of this group is Tyler Pitlick, a center from Minnesota State University, who is expected to be chosen in the first round next week and who is ranked 18th by Central Scouting. Pitlick’s uncle is Lance Pitlick, the former NHL defenseman who played with the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers.

Another pair of young players looking to follow in family members’ footsteps at next week’s draft are Connor Brickley and Christian Thomas. Brickley, a center from Des Moines ranked 58th by CSB, is the second cousin of Andy Brickley, the ex-NHL forward. Thomas, ranked 69th as a right wing from Oshawa, is the son of Steve Thomas, who scored 421 career goals in the National Hockey League.

Also of interest are three players from the local tri-state area who are projected to be drafted within the first four rounds next week. Defenseman Patrick McNally, a Glen Head,  N.Y., native, is ranked 40th by Central Scouting; left wing Mike Pereira, a West Haven, Conn., native who plays with Leetch’s former prep school Avon Old Farms, is ranked 63rd; and left wing Kenneth Agostino, who hails from Morristown, NJ and plays at Delbarton, is the 72nd ranked player by Central Scouting.

The 2010 NHL Entry Draft will begin on Friday July 25 and will conclude on Saturday July 26. The Rangers are currently slotted to pick tenth overall in the first round.
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