Where Are They Now? Bringing the ‘Boom’ with Brock Beukeboom
Brock Beukeboom played two seasons for the IceDogs from 2011-2013. The defenseman gathered 24 points, totaling five goals and 19 assists. He just completed his BBA Degree at University of P.E.I. and will be taking the next step as a professional hockey player next season.
Birthdate: April 1, 1992
Birthplace: Uxbridge, ON
Beukeboom’s IceDogs Regular Season Stats
Throughout this summer we will be producing a weekly story featuring a former IceDog player and looking at what they have accomplished since graduating from the team.
This week’s story is on former Niagara IceDogs Defense Brock Beukeboom.
What are you doing now?
I just graduated from UPEI with a Business Administration degree. I played for the UPEI team for four seasons and I got to compete against a lot of guys from the OHL. It was a cool experience because you always wonder where guys go after Major Junior, people don’t realize how many of us end up in the CIS. I mean just to attest to that, my first year I lived with another former IceDog, Mathew Maione, who helped me learn how to balance hockey and school.
Right now I’m currently pursuing a professional hockey career and have an offer on the table from a team in the ECHL. As a former NHL draft pick I really need to start honing my game more, and treating hockey more seriously to be a professional hockey player. Throughout Junior I had a lot of injury problems, so my past four years I’ve been trying to make sure I do everything I can to decrease my chances of getting hurt. Again, it all comes down to living a professional lifestyle. Luckily for me, I have been healthy for the last few years and feel like I’m going to have a successful professional career.
Could you talk a little bit about your experience with the IceDogs? What were your highlight moments?
Well I began my IceDogs career by getting traded to the Dogs by the SOO Greyhounds in the summer of 2011. After being traded I had really high expectations of myself and I felt that I could bring a lot of leadership into the locker room. Unfortunately, after two regular season games I broke my back which led to me being sidelined for about six weeks. But because of how tightly knit that group was, I never really felt like I wasn’t a part of the team. I still had a leadership role in the locker room and it really showed me how amazing and supporting our team was.
I think the biggest highlight for me was our deep playoff run where we made the OHL Finals. That’s by far the longest playoff run I’ve experienced in my career so far, so that was definitely a great experience. I think overall my time with the IceDogs was enlightening because I got to help mentor some of the younger guys. It really made me love the game even more because I felt as though I was helping some kids get a good foundation which helped them become great players. I’ve stayed connected to a lot of the guys and I will always love the Niagara region, as well as the IceDogs organization.
How has being an IceDog influenced your life?
When I look back going into my fourth year, I put a lot of pressure on myself. I really expected to make a big impact and felt that I could keep getting better as a player, as well as a person in general. I definitely learned how to be a leader and a mentor, as I previously mentioned. But going more into that, I helped them learn the balance between high end hockey and how to juggle the Junior lifestyle. I did my best to be that veteran presence for the boys, and I feel as though I helped make sure the locker room had no weak links in the chain in regards to rookies being comfortable.
Who’s the funniest teammate you’ve ever had?
Mitch Bennett, he was my best friend growing up so it was always an awesome experience when I got to play with him. No matter what the situation was, or how down you were, he always would lighten the mood by cracking a joke or doing something goofy. Probably the funniest guy I’ve ever met, if I’m being honest. Even when I battled injuries, he always found a way to cheer me up.
What is your favourite memory from the road?
I can’t really think of a specific memory, but I always loved taking the bus rides and sitting with the other vets and reminiscing. Surprisingly, I think my favourite trips were those eight hour rides to the SOO, because after I got traded from them, I never lost to them again in my career. So it was always kind of special going in there and winning.
What’s your favourite sport aside from hockey?
I love football and rugby, but golf definitely takes the cake. If I could, I’d be out on the links six times a week.
What was your experience at University of P.E.I. like?
Going into it, I didn’t really have any expectations. But you learn quickly that it’s a much different league than the OHL. All the guys there are at least 22 and some are 28, so you learn really fast how to play a smarter game. The guys there are so much stronger because they’re all physically matured. Another major difference was that you only play 30 games, and the schedule was so condensed into weekends. It meant you really couldn’t take a weekend off or else you’d plummet in the standings. It helped teach me a lot about being professional and having proper habits, because if I didn’t, it was immediately noticeable on the ice.
Over your career, how has your playing style changed?
I’ve refined my game more, I’ve learned my strengths better and improved them. What really kick started my refining was when I didn’t sign in the NHL after getting drafted, so I knew I needed to make some major changes to become a professional. I’ve also become a lot more comfortable as both a player, and as a person in general. Confidence is huge in hockey, because without it, you’re going to screw up on the ice a lot. So as a defenseman, I really need to have confidence in my puck moving or else it’ll result in goals against me.
Aside from that stuff, nothing in my game has really changed a ton. I still love playing a physical game and getting in the other guys faces. Over the years I’ve learned how to do that without taking a ton of penalties. I have also always played with a lot of pride and never shy away from putting my body on the line to get the win for my team.