CHARLOTTETOWN – A former Truro Bearcat will suit up next season for his hometown UPEI Panthers.
Charlottetown's Colin Beck will join the Panthers after four years in the Maritime Junior Hockey League as a member of the Bearcats.
"I am a proud Islander and I couldn't think of a better place to play than UPEI for my university hockey," Colin Beck said. "My dad used to play there. It's good to follow in his footsteps and come back to my hometown."
The 20-year-old's uncle, Rory, was also a Panther and his grandfather Malcolm was a four-sport athlete (hockey, rugby, basketball and track and field) at Prince of Wales College and is a member of the UPEI Hall of Fame.
Beck left the Island as a 17-year-old to play in Truro where he played a key role for the Bearcats.
"I am just going to bring an honest, hard-working, two-way play with a team-first mentality," he said. "I just want to win at the end of the day and I want to win as a Panther."
At six-foot-five and 227 pounds Beck brings something the Panthers lacked last season.
"We needed to add some size to our lineup, especially up front," coach Forbes MacPherson said. "Colin, obviously, fits that bill. He's more than big ... he's a monster. He's huge and he gets around on the ice."
MacPherson said Beck is not a part of the team because of his roots.
"The Beck name is synonymous with UPEI hockey. He's definitely taking it into the next generation," he said.
"At the end of the day it's still a hockey decision and the reason why we're interested in Colin is he helps our team get better."
MacPherson said Beck is a coachable player who received high marks for his character.
"He's an unbelievable kid," the coach said. "Every report we have on Colin ... everybody's just over the top talking about his character."
Beck knows it's a big jump from tier 2 to university hockey in the Maritimes.
"I think with my skill set, my size and work ethic that I will be able to make the jump," he said. "I am very comfortable with that and look forward to the challenge that lies ahead."
He credited Bearcats coach Shawn Evans for helping developing him as a complete player.
"I learned a lot about the game, being responsible in all three zones and the physical side of the game, too," he said.
He will suit up next season to many familiar faces. He played two years with Dana Fraser in Truro, played minor hockey with Harrison McIver, Travis MacIsaac and Cole MacMillan and works with Mike MacIsaac and Mavric Parks.
"So it's not as big of an adjustment," Beck said.
"There's a lot of familiar faces whenever I walk into that dressing room, which is great, it makes the transition easier."