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#USPHLCommitments: Third-Year Premier Veteran, Eels Forward Beckett Commits To Post

By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com 

 

Holden Beckett is very familiar with the USPHL Premier, having just completed his third regular season, and first with the Florida Eels. He’s seen it all, but he’s been especially impressed with what he’s seen from the Eels organization in the way of support in placement to college hockey. It worked perfectly, as Beckett recently committed to Post University, which competes in the country’s only NCAA Division II hockey conference, the Northeast-10. 

“General Manager Frank Scarpaci 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 works incredibly hard to put players in a position to advance. I had been contacted by, or have been communicating with, a few schools at both the NCAA Division III and ACHA levels after some of the showcases. Frank told me he had spoken with Post about me and to contact Coach [Tim] Richter. We had several conversations and, after they viewed some games and highlights I was offered a spot for the 2024-25 season.” 

“Coach Richter [said I’m an] ‘excellent skater who can get up and down the ice, relentless on the forecheck with nice scoring touch around the net.’”

Beckett was honest in talking about how he had to come around to putting education first over hockey, despite his original youthful preferences. 

“Like many kids, academics was secondary to hockey. When I found out that you had to have good grades to play at the NCAA level, I really focused on making sure I could get through the NCAA Eligibility Center.  College Hockey was an important goal and having that focus transferred to my schoolwork and, as I got older, into what my career after hockey would look like,” he said. “Over my last few high school years and my time in juniors, I had started to shape my education goals. Post offers a Bachelor 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.”

Beckett took a long and careful approach to his planning for a college hockey career, definitely not taking the search lightly. 

“My goal since I can remember has always been to play NCAA hockey. As I got older, the possibility to play Division I seemed further out of reach, but I still felt I could be a strong player at the D-III level and continue to play and improve,” said Beckett. “Playing my first two USPHL seasons in Boston and New York gave me a chance to be on the East Coast and see how I liked it. Being from Colorado, it was actually easy to adjust to the weather and I really enjoyed that area. Additionally, the majority of D-III schools are around the East Coast so I focused my school search on SUNYAC and Northeast-10 schools. 

“Academically, Post offers several degrees that I am interested in and I like that it is a smaller university,” Beckett added. “The hockey program at Post had a tough season but the record didn’t indicate how well the team played throughout the season. Eighteen games were decided by two or fewer goals and I feel they are very close to being a contender in the Northeast-10.”

When he arrives on campus in Waterbury, Conn., this spring, it’ll be his first time at Post, but he already feels some familiarity through technology. 

“I have not had the chance to visit the campus, but I have spent a lot of time researching the area and both the school and hockey facilities,” said Beckett. “One of the nicest things was the ability to virtually visit campuses and of course I have watched several of the games they broadcasted on YouTube and will plan a visit once the hockey season wraps up.”

 

Many Roads To Post University 

Beckett started out in the USPHL Premier with the former Boston Advantage, before moving on for the 2022-23 season with the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders, where he put up a strong 20 points in 39 games. When it came time for Beckett to finish his junior career with eyes on a college hockey career, he went back to his roots in a way. 

“Going to Florida this season was an easy choice. Florida was the first team to ever contact me to play in the USPHL. Coach Scarpaci came to Colorado for the CCM showcase the summer after my junior year in High School and to his credit was completely honest about the opportunity with Florida at that time he saw me as a very raw player and wanted me to start at the Elite level with them, but he also believed I could make the jump to Premier that season. I was speaking with a few other teams after that showcase and chose to go to the Premier level with another team,” he said. 

“Many teams promise opportunities, development and advancement but I don’t think there is any team in the USPHL that delivers like the Eels do. With the age-out limit of players on NCDC rosters I knew I wanted to play for a team that could contend for a division title and Nationals,” he added. “I contacted Frank and am glad to be with the Eels this season and will always be thankful for everything they have done for me.”

He reflects fondly on all of the work on and off the ice, which helped him put together a strong season of 11 goals and 18 points in 39 Premier games here in 2023-24. Beckett joined the Eels in qualifying for their seventh straight Premier Nationals and making the semis or better in each of the last four years. 

“From the day I got to Florida, the atmosphere was different, from the time commitments, workouts, film sessions, on-and off-ice training, I have developed the work ethic it takes to play at a high level consistently,” Beckett said. “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.”

He was also grateful not just to the Eels but to the USPHL overall for providing him the platform and life experiences to help him develop into the college-bound player and person he is today. 

“I have enjoyed my time in the USPHL not only for my hockey development ,but not many 20 year olds can say they have lived in Boston, New York and Florida by the time they were 20. My first season I was a senior in high school and lived with a great billet family in Boston. Having a supportive family to live with was a huge help and they really made me part of the family,” said Beckett. “In New York I lived in a team house and made friends there that I still keep in contact with, and this season in Florida I am living in an apartment with several other players and have again made some lifelong friends. For me, part of the junior experience was to be able to see new places and the USPHL has allowed me to do that all while playing the game I love and readying myself for the next level. 

“The USPHL gave me a platform to improve and showcase my skills. Competing in several showcases each year got me in front of scouts who actually attended events,” Beckett added. “The three divisions I played in – the New England, Atlantic and Florida – are some of the toughest divisions in the league, and the level of play is outright impressive which also brings coaches and scouts to not only games but practices.”

He also knows he will have to continue to bear down on his game, both in the upcoming USPHL National Championships and beyond over the “off-season,” which won’t see much time off as he prepares to be a contributor at the NCAA level. 

“I still feel I haven’t reached my full potential and want to improve every time I step on the ice, into the gym or the film room,” said Beckett. “I am excited to get started on my NCAA career at Post University and do whatever I can to put us in a position to win games next season.”

The USPHL congratulates Holden Beckett, his family, the Florida Eels and Post University for his commitment. 

 

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