Monday, April 3, 2017 - Submitted by Melbourne Mustangs
The James Melbourne Mustangs are pleased to announce the signing of American defenceman Matthew Beattie (191cm, 78kg) for 2017. Matt will be wearing #3 for the Mustangs.
Drafted in the seventh round of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Vancouver Canucks as a forward, Beattie (by the way, it's pronouncedBai-dee, not Bee-tee) played his post-draft years at Yale University, where he was part of the 2012-13 NCAA Championship winning team. He was also named to the NCAA's ECAC All-Academic Team in 2013-14.
With his final two years at Yale hampered by injury, a healthy Matt had a comeback in France last season, playing defence for Strasbourg, where he scored 16 points in 31 games.
We asked Matt what can we look forward to with him on our team. "I think I will be a very dynamic player for the Mustangs. I've played both forward and defence throughout my life and it has enabled me to see the game from a unique perspective. I think I can bring an offensive touch from the blue line that is very different from your typical offensive defenceman. I think Mustangs fans will like me because I'm a very happy and optimistic person who is pretty even keeled. I always have a smile on my face and I'm very approachable despite my long stature. I'm looking forward to getting to know the fans and being a part of this team."
Coach Michael Flaherty said of Matt, "He will be a great addition to our blue line, and his recent form in France has shown that he can contribute at both ends of the ice. He will be an asset to our power play."
Outside of hockey, Matt is really looking forward to experiencing Australian life, and being able to get to know the locals a bit more than he could in France. "I've heard amazing things about Australian culture and I want to experience it for myself. I'm excited about the opportunity to play hockey in Melbourne. My hockey career has been plagued with injuries over the past few years but I feel very fortunate that I get to play an awesome game in a place as culturally unique as Australia.
I've been playing in France for the past six months and it was a little difficult for me to fully immerse myself in the country and its people given the fact that my French language skills are not perfect. I'm really excited to live in a completely new world and get to know its people on a level that I couldn't experience in France. I'm sure Australians have some incredible insight and commentary on American culture as well, and I think it will be really exciting to get to know the people."
Matt will be making his Mustangs debut when we take on the CBR Brave at O'Brien Group Arena in our home opener weekend on April 22 and 23. Get your tickets from Ticketmasternow!