Beukeboom eager to make up for lost time, earn pro shot

By Nate Sager, Buzzing the Net

Dwelling on the past will not get Brock Beukeboom anywhere.

Two years ago, the odds that the 6-foot-2, 215-pound defenceman would end up playing an overage season in junior would have been remote. The Uxbridge, Ont., native was a relatively high NHL pick, 63rd overall, attended Hockey Canada’s under-20 summer development camp and was named captain of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds early in his third season. Of course, a concussion sustained that season set him back; he missed 46 games due to injuries across the last two years with the Soo and Niagara IceDogs.

Now the veteran defenceman, determined not to be discouraged, is hoping for a bounce-back year with the Guelph Storm. Beukeboom was the first big-name blueliner to move to a contender when the Storm picked him up last week from the IceDogs for three priority selection draft picks, including a 2014 second-rounder. It’s another lifeline and shot at a pro contract for Beukeboom, whom the St. Louis Blues declined to sign last spring.

“I know for a fact last year that St. Louis didn’t sign me because of my injuries,” Beukeboom, 20, said last Friday after his first game with the Storm. “Maybe I could have been in the ‘A,’ I don’t know. I’m playing well. I know teams are watching me. It’s just a matter of helping the team out. It’s a really good situation.”

The Storm, who are fourth in the Western Conference with a .639 point percentage and have scored a league-best 76 goals in 18 games, make the Sleeman Centre a fairly cheery place when they’re in good form. Their twin bugaboos have been inconsistency and the back-end depth beyond their two drafted defenders, Toronto Maple Leafs high second-rounder Matt Finn and 6-foot-5 Andrey Pedan, whom the New York Islanders selected in the third round in 2010. They lost 2-of-3 last weekend with Beukeboom freshly added to the fold, although Pedan was sitting out the first three of a four-game suspension for a match penalty. Pedan sits out the last game of his suspension on Wednesday.

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