Angus Booth Q&A – Turning Pro and Joining the Ontario Reign

Happy Saturday, Insiders!

After a 5-3 loss in Game 2 of their division finals series Friday, it’s a day off the ice for many members of the Ontario Reign as the team prepares for a must-win Game 3 on Sunday at Toyota Arena.

Two days ago, the Kings announced that prospect Angus Booth would join the Reign’s Calder Cup Playoff roster after completing his QMJHL career with Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Booth made the trip to Southern California and linked up with his new teammates in between Games 1 and 2 of their third-round postseason series in Coachella Valley. He’s now skated with the on-ice group in practice each of the last two days.

The Quebec native was a fourth-round pick by the Kings in 2022 after winning the QMJHL Championship with the Shawinigan Cataractes as an 18-year-old. Earlier this season, he signed a three-year, entry-level contract, which is expected to begin with the 2024-25 campaign.

Having an opportunity to be around the Ontario players and staff for however long the team is involved in playoff competition gives the young blueliner a head start to his preparation for his first full professional season.

I had the chance to catch up with Booth after his first day on the ice with the team Friday during the Reign’s morning skate. Below is our conversation, edited in a Q&A format.

What have your last couple of days been like as you finished your junior season and traveled to join the Reign in the playoffs?

Yeah, obviously it’s been a real quick turnaround from junior to being here in Palm Springs with the guys but I think it’s just an experience that I’ve got to cherish and I have to learn from all the older guys and just get ready for next season.

How did your season in juniors go and what did you feel you worked on during the year?

I think since I was an older guy, I had a lot of experience in the junior leagues. I think I had to have more of a leadership role so I developed that I’m ready to bring my game I think to the next level to play against men. I think I’ve got a lot of things to work on this summer. Just to get bigger, get stronger, to be able to compete against these men.

What’s it been like to come into the Reign locker room and have pre-existing relationships with many of your new teammates that you’ve gotten to know during development and rookie camp with the Kings?

I think that puts me in a comfort zone right from the get-go. I think I know a lot of the guys, it’s not new territory for me. I know all the staff. I know how they work, and I think that’s why it was great to get out for all the camps to get to get to know each other and then it makes it easier once you make the transition.

How much were you following Ontario’s season and did you keep an eye on how they were doing during the year?

Yeah, I was checking the scores regularly. Obviously, it’s tough to check the games with the time difference, but I was checking the scores and I was happy to see them doing well so that I got the chance to come out here and join them.

What was your first practice like on Thursday, getting on the ice with the group for the first time?

I was honestly a little nervous, but it was a lot of fun. I felt very welcomed by all the guys. They’re all just super great guys. The older vets are making me feel welcome, and I’m excited to be here.

What does it mean to you to be a part of this group and see professional playoff games up close in a team environment?

It’s special. I mean, I think it shows that the organization believes in me and it shows that they think I might be able to play in this environment. I’m super excited to prove myself and to be able to jump on the ice with the with the big boys.

Whether he receives the opportunity to make his debut during the Reign’s playoff run or not, the experience of skating and being around a team that’s aiming to keep their season going into late May is a worthwhile one.

More to come tomorrow morning, Insiders, with a preview of a do-or-die Game 3 for Ontario as they look to keep their season alive Sunday night in front of their home fans in the Inland Empire!

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