Hockey Canada Network |
News
From London to Montreal
The son of British parents, Callum Booth is making a name for himself in the Canadian game
David Brien
|
January 4, 2014
|
|
Callum Booth

When Rob and Nicki Booth moved from London, England, to Montreal, Que., in the early 1990s, they admit they didn’t know much about the game they still refer to as “ice hockey.”

Their son has changed all that.

“After I got a job offer from Montreal’s McGill University, we decided that moving to Canada was something we needed to try,” Nicki Booth says. “My initial contract there was set for three years, but now 17 years later we’ve decided that Canada is where we want to stay.”

Callum Booth was born in May 1997, and as he grew up, his parents realized they weren’t quite sure what sports Callum should be playing.

It is Canada, after all, so there was really only one answer.

“My dad played soccer, rugby and cricket while growing up, so they didn’t know what sports kids practiced here,” Callum says. “After asking around, a friend advised them to put me in the local Learn to Skate program and I’ve been on skates ever since.”

At the age of nine, Callum traded in his player skates for goalie ones, and his hockey path was forever altered.

“His team had barely won a game all year,” Rob Booth says. “Before the first game of the playoffs, the other goalie decided he had had enough and bailed out. Only two or three players were interested in the position, but after one practice where Callum stood on his head, they decided to give him a try.

“Callum’s team went on to win more games in the playoffs than they had all year. They beat teams that were hammering them only a few weeks before.”

The Booth youth quickly became one of the province’s top young netminders, with scouts taking notice as he blossomed in his early teenage years.

Because Rob and Nicki had not received an English-speaking education in Quebec, a provincial law required Callum be enrolled in French elementary and middle schools, but he took his talents south of the border last year, suiting up for Salisbury School of the New England Prep School League.

“Education is very important to me and my family,” Booth says. “At the time, staying in Quebec to play elite hockey meant I had to sacrifice a little bit of that education. I also wanted to play at the highest level of hockey possible. My intentions were to go to the NCAA.”

Booth’s exploits with the Knights led to him being selected in the third round of the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft, 52nd overall by the Quebec Remparts, who asked to meet with both Callum and his parents to discuss his future.

“A couple of weeks before training camp, we met with the Remparts personnel,” Callum says. “They explained to us I was not sacrificing anything in my education. They set me up in a private school in Quebec City because we insisted that I needed to finish my high school. Plus, the hockey level I’m playing there is superior to my prep schools.”

The meeting also afforded Booth the chance to meet arguable the greatest goaltender in the history of hockey, as well as one of the best in the game today.

“They asked us to meet them in a restaurant in downtown Montreal,” Callum says. “When we got there it was Patrick Roy. He was sitting with someone else and he got up, shook my hand and introduced himself. That was already pretty crazy; I never thought that was going to happen.”

Roy introduced his other guest as Semyon, which didn’t register right away with Booth.

“I thought at first, there might be a couple people Patrick might know [named] Semyon but then later in the meal he started referring to him as Varlamov. To us, it was pretty cool he brought him along.

“I remember Varlamov gave me tips on managing stress because for me, I went from playing in front of 300 students to a nightly crowd of over 9,000 in Quebec.”

On the ice this week with Quebec at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Booth has joined an exclusive fraternity of U17 goaltenders from the province; it’s a list that includes Marc-André Fleury, Jean-Sébastien Giguère and Roberto Luongo.

If Booth’s international career continues to progress, he does have options. Since he has both British and Canadian citizenship, he would be able to represent Great Britain if the opportunity arose.

But the goaltender has his sights set on just one jersey.

“That’s not even a question for me. I was born and raised here so I’m a Canadian at heart. Wearing the Hockey Canada logo is an honour!”


For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4557
abrin@hockeycanada.ca

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4564
fdupont@hockeycanada.ca

Jason LaRose
Manager, Content Services
Hockey Canada
403-777-4553
jlarose@hockeycanada.ca

Kristen Lipscombe
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-284-6427
klipscombe@hockeycanada.ca

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
kgoodrich@hockeycanada.ca

facebook.com/hockeycanada

twitter.com/hockeycanada

youtube.com/hockeycanadavideos

Videos
Photos
2014 Esso Cup: SUD 6 - FRA 3
Apr 24, 2014
A trio of Lady Wolves scores two goals each to lead Sudbury over Fraser Valley.
2014 WU18C: CAN 3 - SUI 2
Apr 24, 2014
Konecny’s late goal sends Canada to the semifinals in Lappeenranta.
2014 Esso Cup: WEY 3 - MON 2
Apr 24, 2014
Weyburn wrapped up its preliminary games with its fourth win of the Esso Cup.
2014 TELUS Cup: HFX 5 - OKA 4
Apr 24, 2014
Halifax scored four times in the third period to stun Okanagan.
2014 Esso Cup: SUD 3 - EDM 2
Apr 23, 2014
A pair of power play goals in the second led Sudbury to its third win.
2014 Esso Cup: FRA 7 – MON 2
Apr 23, 2014
The Phantom fired 50 shots on net in picking up its first win of the Esso Cup.
2014 TELUS Cup: HAL 3 - CHA 7
Apr 23, 2014
Eight players had multi-point games to lead Châteauguay to its first win.
2014 TELUS Cup: TOR 4 - MJ 2
Apr 23, 2014
Marco Bozzo’s hat trick helped the Young Nationals to another win.
2014 Esso Cup: STC 3 - WEY 2
Apr 23, 2014
The Sabres scored three in the first and hung on to defeat the Gold Wings.
2014 TELUS Cup: OKA 1 - PA 1
Apr 23, 2014
Kjargaard and Bryshun traded goals in yet another tie game.
2014 TELUS Cup: TOR 3 - HFX 0
Apr 22, 2014
Longo a marqué deux fois pour procurer un premier gain aux Young Nationals.
2014 Esso Cup STC 2 – SUD 1
Apr 22, 2014
A shorthanded goal from Alexa Vasko late in the second was the difference.
Schedule
Close
Credit  
Close
Photo Credit: