Beamish stung at OHL draft
Liam Beamish found out he had been drafted at an appropriate location.
The 16-year-old Beamsville resident was watching the 2023 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection on line with his family, but after a couple of hours of not seeing his name pop up, decided a change of venue was in order.
“I was getting anxious and then went to the rink to settle my mind down a bit,” the West Niagara Secondary School student said. “I had a skate lined up and I was taping my stick when all the boys came out and told me I was drafted.
“It was awesome. I couldn’t speak I was so overwhelmed.”
Beamish, who captained the Niagara North Stars this season and also led them in scoring with 27 goals and 58 points in 37 regular season games, soon took a call from the Sarnia Sting who selected him in the eighth round (151st overall).
“They called me and it was awesome,” Beamish said. “Went for a skate and then went out for dinner as a family to celebrate.”
Even with a few days to collect his thoughts following the draft, Beamish was still in awe of the experience.
“I can’t even describe it. All that hard work you put into it, three, four years of training and the last year especially, all that paid off getting selected.
“It was a surreal moment.”
Beamish is now concentrating on rookie camp in Sarnia May 19-20.
“I look at it as though I have to bring my A game,” he said. “Even though I’m in a full summer training program, I have to go in there and just turn heads and get everyone looking at me so they can see what I can do and then have their eye on me in main camp.”
The slick centre has set his sights high for next season.
“I think the goal is to do everything I can to put myself in a position to play in the OHL next year,” he said. “If it doesn’t work out, I’ll probably play junior and develop as much as I can. In my mind, these next couple of years are development years. Obviously I want to help whatever team I am on win, but focusing more on myself in that sense. Developing as a player and getting more accustomed to playing against older ages and playing the sped-up game.”
The Sting are set to meet the London Knights in the Western Conference final beginning Friday.
“They have a pretty solid team and I think they have a few guys moving on next year so obviously lots of spots opening up,” Beamish said. “Lots of opportunity there. They have such a great program there, they are well coached and well managed. Such a great club.”
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