Coming into draft day on Thursday Red Deer Rebels’ newest prospect Beckett Hamilton couldn’t imagine getting picked by any other team.
And in the first round, the 15-year-old forward out of Humboldt got his wish after being selected 18th overall by Red Deer.
“I was really happy,” Hamilton told The Advocate.
“It’s crazy… Every kid dreams of that so it was really cool when I got picked. Red Deer was the place I really wanted to go and I was happy when they chose me. It’s a great place to be and I hope I can be there for a really long time.”
Surrounded by family Hamilton got to enjoy the moment with his loved ones in Saskatchewan while they all watched with anticipation.
Speaking of family, Hamilton has plenty of ties to the Western Hockey League.
His father Lee played for the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Medicine Hat Tigers, and Kelowna Rockets from 1993-97. After that, he went on to have a career in the East Coast Hockey League from 1997-2001.
The youngster is also a great-nephew to Kelowna Rockets Owner, President, and General Manager Bruce Hamilton.
“I got into hockey because of my dad. He taught me how to play hockey and ever since then I’ve been skating,” he said.
“I’ve learned from them that you’ve got to put in the work to make it… [The WHL] is a hard league to play in, it’s not very easy, and everyone is trying to make it. So. you’ve just got to keep getting better.”
Hamilton has indeed upped his game this past season notching 83 points in just 29 games with the Humboldt Broncos U15 AA. In the playoffs, he added 33 points in nine games.
Next season Hamilton will play for the U18 AAA Warman Wildcats and after that he hopes to crack the Rebels lineup in the 2024-25 season. Priority number one is to sign a WHL Player Agreement and after that, he hopes to put his best foot forward at training camp this fall.
“I think I can bring lots of offence. I can play hard sometimes when I need to and I hope to score some goals for the team,” he added.
Red Deer Rebels Associate General Manager Shaun Sutter explained Hamilton’s progression throughout the season was good but it was his leap in the playoffs that stood out.
“Since they’ve been keeping stats in the last 20 years in Saskatchewan Beckett has scored the most goals and points in playoffs,” Sutter said.
“He played on a really good team but he is a guy who’s a one-shot scorer. He does have those wow moments passing and shooting the puck with his high level of skill. He’s also a guy that’s got an edge to him and some hardness.”
He’s not yet signed to the Rebels but Sutter anticipates in the future when Hamilton is of age he could fill a role in the Rebels lineup.
“We thought he was a big game player so we were thrilled to pick him.”
At 15 years old Hamilton stands 5’8” tall and 150 pounds and will have plenty of time to grow over the years. However, what won’t change is his passion for the game.
“You get to meet lots of good friends that you’ll have for the rest of your life. The game is fun, competitive, and you can do it for the rest of your life,” Hamilton added.