ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Just 13 years ago, the Washington Capitals' Jay Beagle was a freshman on the UAA Hockey Team. Thursday, he became the second player in program history to hoist aloft the Stanley Cup.
Beagle played a huge role this post-season for the Capitals, doing the little things like killing penalties, and winning over 170 face-offs in the 2018 playoffs.
“Just an all-everything guy for his coaches, they use him in every situation,” said Justin Johnson, a teammate of Beagle’s at UAA.
When Beagle came to UAA he shined as a scoring threat, but would become a difference-maker his sophomore season, where he doubled his point totals.
The forward would help the Seawolves win the Governor’s Cup in 2006-2007 for the first time in six seasons. Following this success, after his sophomore season, Beagle packed his bags, and went all-in on his pro hockey dreams.
Johnson says Beagle never took himself too seriously. “He’d say, 'If I don’t make it being a hockey player I’ll just go home and be a mechanic with my dad,' ” said Johnson.
Beagle spent a short time in the ECHL before taking his talents to the American Hockey League. There, he faced off against former teammate Johnson.
“He was a guy that you knew was going to get an opportunity, and if he could, make good on it,” said Johnson. “Getting a little bit of luck in terms of not being injured, and getting in the right organization.”
It wasn’t long before Beagle would make his NHL debut at 23 years old for the Washington Capitals, slowly getting more and more playing time.
“For Jay, he did it the way everyone can respect, he started in the East Coast Hockey League, worked his way up, did it in the American League and earned his spot in the NHL,” said Johnson.
That made it easy for fans to root for the former Seawolf, who made his Stanley Cup dream come true.
Beagle is the only UAA hockey player to win a championship on the ECHL, AHL, and NHL level.
This year’s Capitals roster also featured North Pole goaltender Pheonix Copley.