Growing up, Syosset Braves defenseman Adam Goldstein idolized Jeff Beukeboom of the New York Rangers.
"He (Beukeboom) was one of the best defensemen I've ever seen," Goldstein said before his Monday practice, his Rangers hat tightly squeezing his head.
But, unlike his idol ever did, Goldstein is scoring goals at a ferocious pace. Through seven games, he led the Braves club hockey team with seven goals. He also had eight assists, giving him 15 points – one back of the team lead.
As humble as an athlete can be, Goldstein sees himself as only a small part of his success, giving most of the credit to his teammates.
"They always find a way to get me the puck," the defenseman said. "And they always get open for me, so I'm always finding people who are open. It just works out."
That's not to say he doesn't have big personal goals for himself: Goldstein said he wants to be the leading scorer on the team at the end of the season.
While he is subdued talking about his own accomplishments, he lights up when asked about what he expects for his team this year.
"We have such a strong core of kids this year. It's almost inevitable that we're going to be somewhere near the top," Goldstein said.
In addition to the Syosset club team, Goldstein plays on the Youth – 16 Midget National team where he is coached by former New York Islander and Ranger Pat LaFontaine and former Islander Steve Webb.
"It's great," Adam said about playing for LaFontaine, "There's just so much to learn from the guy. You can't spend a day with him without learning something new."
But as great an experience playing for a New York hockey legend may be, it can't compare with his Syosset coach – his father, Richard.
"I have to focus on him being a coach inside the rink and a dad outside the rink," Richard said. "I can't treat him any differently than any of the other players. I don't get any special treatment. It's been a good experience."
The father and son have been a coach and player combo for nearly seven years.
"It's not difficult," Richard said about the potential challenges of coaching his son at such a high level of hockey, "Having a son who is in the upper percentile of skaters on the team gives you the luxury of not having to worry about him getting extra ice time that he might not deserve. The parents expect that he's on the ice."
With numbers like Goldstein is producing, how could he not be?