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Beukeboom Embraced Chance to Join Canada

Mike StainkampContributor IAugust 9, 2010

With Brock Beukeboom's busy schedule so far this summer—including the NHL Entry Draft, defenseman camp, Tampa Bay Lightning prospect camp and, most recently, the Hockey Canada National Team Development Camp—there hasn't been much in the way of down-time, except for perhaps the occasional round of golf.

Beukeboom just finished up a stint at the Canadian national team's development camp, held in Saint John, Nfld. He was originally an alternate who was invited after some late scratches, but said that didn't really make a difference in how he played.

"I knew I was an alternate and it's a pretty big honor to be an alternate, especially being a little older than the other kids at camp," he told NHL.com. "If I got the call, I wanted to make the best impression possible, but if I didn't, it would make me work that much harder to get invited. I felt I showcased myself well at the camp."

Beukeboom's father, Jeff, won four Stanley Cups (three with Edmonton, one with the New York Rangers) during a 15-year career. He was a member of the 1985 World Junior Team that won a gold medal. Brock was taken in the third round (No. 63) by Tampa Bay in June. Throughout this offseason, Beukeboom has focused on making himself better as a leader for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League in the hopes of leading his team to the playoffs.

"It's been pretty busy," he said. "I've been away for four weeks, so summer has been short. But at the same time, I'm looking forward to heading back to Sault Ste. Marie and starting the season off really well."

Beukeboom feels that with a lot of players returning from last season's team, which finished fifth in the conference, the Greyhounds have a shot at making a run to the playoffs.

"Last year we finished fifth and this year I think we can finish in the top three of our conference and make a pretty good playoff run," he said. "We have a lot of returning guys, we're going to be young and tenacious. Everyone is going to be eager to get better every day. I'm going to take some of the guys under my wing and lead by example and make sure everyone's doing the right thing."

Beukeboom enjoys golfing almost as much as he enjoys playing hockey, but he says the lack of practice is hurting his game.

"I could be a lot better if I put some time in," he said with a laugh."I'm a pretty avid golfer and I'm trying to get better each day."

Beukeboom says that for many hockey players, golf is a way of staying active without lacing up the skates.

"I know a lot of guys who like to golf and relax," he said. "When you're playing hockey at a high level, you really don't have much of an opportunity to play any other sports, especially contact sports. I think golf is one of those sports where you don't have to worry about getting injured, unless you get hit by a golf ball. It's somewhat of a workout."

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