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After junior hockey journey, Craig native Beckett heading to NCAA D-II Post for ’24-25 season

 

Holden Beckett moved around during his youth hockey days in Colorado and has played for three USPHL junior hockey organizations since 2021.

Next season, the Craig native will be on the move to college hockey after recently committing to NCAA Division II Post University, a school located in Waterbury, Conn.

“General manager Frank Scarpaci Jr. and the Florida Eels do a great job of reaching out to coaches and promoting prayers to the next level with both the ACHA and NCAA,” said Beckett. “Frank had contacted Post about me and gave me the information to apply and contact info for head coach Tim Richter. Coach Richter and I had a couple conversations after they viewed some games and highlights. After a few weeks and completing my application and sending Coach Richter my transcripts to make sure I qualified with the NCAA Eligibility Center, I was offered a spot for the 2024-25 season.

“My goal since I can remember has always been to play NCAA hockey and after playing juniors in Boston (Boston Advantage) and New York (PAL Jr. Islanders), I knew I wanted to find a school on the East Coast to continue my education and hockey career.”

Beckett added that playing in the USPHL helped his game turn a corner to be ready for the NCAA level.

“I played on three different teams over my three seasons,” said Beckett. “Not many 20-year-olds can say they have lived in Boston, Long Island and Florida. Each one brought improvements to both my skills and maturity, but it wasn’t until this season with the Eels that I was able to improve to what I would call ‘college ready.’ From the day I got to Florida, the atmosphere was different from the time commitments, workouts, film sessions, and on- and off-ice training. I have developed the work ethic it takes to play at a high level consistently and that has led to me being able to process the game quicker and play at the same speed I can think while fitting my skills into a team and a system that puts us as a team in a position to win hockey games.”

Admittedly, it wasn’t until high school that Beckett started to take academics as seriously as he was taking hockey.

“Like a lot of kids, academics was second to hockey until I found out that you had to have good grades to even play at the NCAA level,” Beckett said. “That really helped me focus on my schooling and between classes at Chatfield and Warren Tech, I started to become a better student and think more about what my career after hockey would look like.

“Post offers a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management. I plan to continue with hockey in some form once my playing days are done. I am also interested in the Emergency Management and Homeland Security program, so my plan is to focus on core classes the first two years and explore those programs.”

Heading to college in late summer after his junior career wraps in March, Beckett has his eye on what he wants his future to look like.

“My short-term goal would be to continue to improve over the remainder of the season, compete at the USPHL Nationals, and enjoy my last season of junior hockey,” said Beckett. “Juniors has been an amazing experience and going into next year, I want to be ready to compete at the next level and have a positive impact on the team. My long-terms goals are the same today as when I was a kid, play hockey as long as I can but prepare for life after by completing my education.”

In addition to Chatfield, Beckett also played for Steamboat Springs, the Craig Cougars, Littleton Hawks and Hyland Hills Jaguars.

Photo/JC Powers

— Matt Mackinder

(February 22, 2024)

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