Matt Beattie: CHP Exclusive Profile
By Bob Miller CHP Managing Editor
When your college choice comes down to deciding between Yale, Harvard and Princeton, you know that you’ve done a lot of the right things to get to that decision point.
Matt Beattie, a 6-3 175 pound forward playing prep hockey for Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, had to make just that decision.
“Other than Yale, I considered Harvard and Princeton,” said Beattie. “I chose Yale because I thought that I was going to challenge myself the most from an athletic standpoint. I loved the coaching staff and, most importantly, it felt like the perfect fit for me from every standpoint.”
Exeter coach Dana Barbin couldn’t be happier to have had a year’s worth of Beattie’s contribution in his lineup.
Said Barbin, “Matt has been outstanding all year in his post-grad year. He is the leading scorer in New England with 28 goals, 29 assists in 18 games. He’s one of my all-time favorites in 25 years here. Matt loves to practice, play, and enjoy the game with his teammates. He’s a real competitor when the going gets tough. His skating is outstanding, explosive and he has pretty darn good hands as well. He needs to improve speed of his shot and put on some weight, but Matt has flown under the radar. He could be the real deal.”
Coming to Exeter from Pingry Upper Scool, Beattie brought with him a pattern of excellence both on the ice and in the classroom. Named the 2011 Skyland Conference Scholar-Athlete in his final year at Pingry, Beattie scored 94 points during the ’10-’11 season. His 40 goals and 54 assists are the most points ever scored in a season in Pingry history.
And, yes, the NHL scouts have noticed. Beattie was recently ranked 129th among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting Bureau mid-term rankings.
On what he does well on the ice:
“My strengths as a hockey player are my speed and vision of the ice. I have always been able to see the ice well and I’ve recently gotten a lot faster, which obviously helps in just about every aspect of the game. I never really thought about what pro I play like, but I am a huge Devils fan, so if I would say that I try to play like a Kovalchuk. I like the off wing and I like to carry the puck.”
On what he needs to improve:
“I am working on improving my strength and physical play on the ice. I have no problem driving the net but more strength would help me out a lot.”
On the importance of a good center:
“I got a chance to play with a few of my teammates over the fall, and I think one of the biggest advantages that I have is that I get to play with a center who knows how I like to play. It’s very difficult to score in any league when you’re playing by yourself, but it gets a lot easier when you have someone to play with who knows where you are going to be. Matt Rubinoff and I have had a lot of success because we feed off of each other and we seem to know what the other is going to do before he does it.”
On the influences that have mattered:
“On the ice, my biggest influences have been my coaches and my teammates. My high school coach at Pingry, John Magadini, taught me a lot of very important lessons over my four years. I also learn a lot day in and day out from my teammates. My biggest influence off the ice has been my family. My parents both work full time so that I can enjoy the luxuries of attending great schools like Exeter and Pingry.”
On his year at Exeter:
“My experiences at Exeter have been great so far. It has been a smooth transition into life away from home, and I am getting a fantastic education in the process. Exeter has probably helped me the most from an athletic standpoint. Last year, I was playing in New Jersey and I was relatively unknown. Exeter has given me the chance to get my name out into the hockey world.”
On June’s NHL Draft:
“I haven’t really given the draft much thought. Obviously, it would be cool to get drafted, but it’s not the end of the world if things don’t work out the way I hope they will. I have set myself up for an unbelievable next four years, and what happens after that will depend on how I develop in the near future. I will say that I will be giving the draft a lot more thought when I’m done playing with Exeter. But until then, winning a championship takes a higher priority.”
On setting goals:
“The long-term goal that I have for my hockey career is the same as any other kid. I want to play in the NHL at some point in the future. The short-term goals that I have are to win a New England Championship and win the scoring title.”
See for yourself: Beattie Pingry highlight clip