Former Semiahmoo Ravens Hockey goalie Mason Beaupit is one of the newest members of the San Jose Sharks organization, after being selected in the National Hockey League Entry Draft Friday in Montreal.
The well-travelled goaltender – who lives in Crescent Beach, and has also played for the Okanagan Hockey Academy, Valley West Hawks of the BC Major Midget League and the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs – heard his named called by the Sharks in the fourth round, 108th overall.
Beaupit was the fifth-ranked North American goaltender heading into the draft, and was expected to be selected somewhere in the third or fourth round.
“It’s pretty surreal. There’s no way to describe it – it’s probably the best day of my life so far,” Beaupit said during a post-draft media availability from Montreal, which hosted the draft – the first in-person draft for the league since 2019.
“Me and my family, we’ve put in so much work to be able to get here. For it to come true, it’s unbelievable.”
Heading into the draft, the 18-year-old Beaupit – who told Black Press Media prior to being selected that “It’s an honour just to be here” – was being praised by scouts for his athleticism, his skating ability and especially his size – he’s listed at six-foot-five.
As well, he has above-average puck handling abilities, according to most publicly available scouting reports.
Last year with the Spokane Chiefs, he had a 20-22-4 record (win-loss-overtime loss) with a goals-against average of 3.63 and an .893 save percentage. He faced a lot of rubber on a subpar Chiefs squad – the team finished 15 games below .500 in the WHL’s Western Conference – and was sixth in the entire league in shots faced, with 1,577, and saves, with 1,408.
During the CHL’s Top Prospects Game, which was held in Kitchener, Ont. in March, he stopped all 16 shots he faced. After the season wrapped up, he was named the Chiefs’ player of the year.
“I can’t thank (the Chiefs organization) enough,” Beaupit said from the podium after the draft. “I can’t thank my teammates enough. Without them, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Beaupit’s season ended when he was injured in his team’s first-round playoff series against the Kamloops Blazers. He sprained his medial collateral ligament in his knee while reaching for a puck, but he told Black Press Media last month that “my knee is fine” now.
“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.”
The injury did not affect Beaupit’s draft position, though he still admitted a little bit of shock at being selected by San Jose, considering they were not one of the teams he spoke with prior to the draft. However, the team has a brand-new general manager in Mike Grier, who was only hired a few days ahead of the draft date.
“A little bit surprised, but (I) couldn’t be happier,” he said, when asked about hearing his name called by his new team.
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 said.
“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.”
Beaupit is expected to return to the Chiefs for the 2022-23 season, where he’s likely to be one of the WHL’s top netminders.
– with files from Tom Zillich