NHL draft prospect Mason Beaupit, a goaltender with the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs, works out at Semiahmoo Athletic Club in South Surrey on June 16. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

NHL draft prospect Mason Beaupit, a goaltender with the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs, works out at Semiahmoo Athletic Club in South Surrey on June 16. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

HOCKEY

Ahead of NHL draft, Surrey’s Beaupit ranked 5th among North American goaltenders

‘I’m just excited for what the future holds,’ says Spokane Chiefs’ Player of the Year

Mason Beaupit will be happy to hear his name called in Montreal when NHL teams gather for the hockey league’s entry draft July 7-8.

The South Surrey-raised goaltender is ranked fifth among North American netminders heading into the draft, to be held in-person for the first time in a couple of years.

“I’d love to go as high in the draft as possible, hopefully by the third or fourth round, but if a team really likes me, maybe it’ll be in the second round,” Beaupit said.

“We’ll see. It’s an honour just to be there,” he added. “I’ve had a lot of help getting to this point, from family and also teammates and coaches, and I’m just excited for what the future holds.”

Standing six-foot-five, Beaupit is noted as a strong skater with above-average puck-handling skills in a top-10 ranking of goaltenders posted to nhl.com. He can read plays and anticipates well, too.

Last season, the 18-year-old went 20-22-4 with a 3.63 GAA (goals-against average), .893 save percentage and one shutout in 49 games with the WHL Spokane Chiefs. He was sixth in the league in shots against (1,577) and saves (1,408). He also made 16 saves on 16 shots in 30:13 of ice time at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, played March 23 in Kitchener, Ont.

For all of that, the Chiefs named Beaupit their Player of the Year back in May.

“It’s a massive honour,” Beaupit said, “and a lot of players who’ve won that award have gone on to have very good careers, so obviously it’s an amazing honour, and it’s something I couldn’t have won without my teammates as well. It’s nice to be acknowledged like that.”

Earlier in the season, Beaupit was named Goaltender of the Week by the WHL after stopping 59 of 61 shots in a pair of games last November.

The 2003-born Beaupit was originally selected by Spokane in the fourth round of the 2018 WHL Draft. He joined Spokane in October 2019 after parts of two seasons with Valley West Giants U18 squad, the Surrey/North Delta reps of the B.C. Elite Hockey League. Before that, he played at Okanagan Hockey Academy for a season and started out in Semiahmoo Minor Hockey.

With Spokane this spring, Beaupit was injured in the team’s opening-round playoff series with Kamloops Blazers. His season was ended when he reached for a puck and sprained his MCL (medial collateral ligament).

“My knee is fine, it was nothing too bad, and sitting out in the playoffs was more precautionary to not make it worse,” Beaupit emphasized. “It was really awful timing, but you gotta look out for the future.”

For years, Beaupit has been gaining strength with the help of Chris Rengert at Semiahmoo Athletic Club in South Surrey, with a group of fellow high-level hockey players.

“He’s done well with the rehab, especially with his quick turnaround from playoffs to (NHL) combine,” assessed Rengert, a forward with Surrey Eagles in the mid-2000s.

“Mason’s work ethic is second to none, and he’s been in here five days a week for the last six years, in the off-season,” Rengert added. “He’s been with me since he was in Grade 6, so it’s pretty cool to see his trajectory, going from Bantam A3 or whatever it was, to Okanagan Hockey Academy to Valley West, to WHL and now hopefully to the NHL.”

Beaupit lives in the Crescent Beach area with a firefighter for a dad and mom who does logistics for a transport company. The family business is Mason Irrigation, and the NHL prospect helps in summers when he can.

Growing up, Beaupit was a Chicago Blackhawks fan who admired the play of goaltender Corey Crawford but also Canucks star Roberto Luongo.

Now, he aims to model his game after a different puck-stopper.

“There are so many great goalies in the NHL now, but the guy I like is Carey Price,” Beaupit explained. “It’s the default answer, but that guy is such an A-plus professional. He’s one of a kind, and he’s arguably been the world’s best goalie over a good number of years. I’ve gotten to see him play in Vancouver a few times and it’s always a great memory, a guy I look up to.”

Weeks ago, Beaupit flew to Montreal for a workout and interview with the Canadiens, who host this year’s Entry Draft. Beaupit and his family will be back in Montreal this week.

“It’s an exciting time, and hopefully we enjoy that experience,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming.”

Drafted or not, Beaupit will probably dress for the WHL Chiefs next season, and is projected to be among the best goaltenders in the WHL’s western conference in 2022-23, according to a profile posted on thehockeywriters.com.

“Overall, he has potential but needs to find a way to be consistent over an entire season,” the website notes. “One reason for the inconsistency may also be linked to him having only played 10 games last season and getting thrust into the starter’s role this season. His defensive core is also young and inexperienced, with none having played more than 75 career WHL games coming into the season. Now that he has some experience as a starter and will have a stronger defensive group in front of him next season, he should have a strong year in 2022-23.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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