Victoria Grizzlies phenom Alex Newhook might be the best thing that no one’s talking about.
Newhook was just rated as the second best prospect for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft behind American Jack Hughes by The Hockey News, and the young star is playing right here in our backyard. To put that into perspective, no British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) player has been selected in the top 5 of the NHL draft since Kyle Turris in 2007, when he played for the Burnaby Express.
Of course, there is still 15 months until the 2019 draft, and prospect rankings shift often. But the Grizzlies at worst, have something special on their hands.
The 5’11” native of St John’s, Newfoundland came over to the Grizzlies of the BCHL this past summer in search of the best Junior A hockey on the planet. By playing junior A instead of major junior, it will allow him to keep his college eligibility, where he plans to play for Boston College.
Safe to say, he’s been an incredible addition for the Grizzlies.
No 16-year old has done what he’s done in the BCHL
Before breaking his wrist in February, Newhook was a top-2 scorer in the league, setting a torrid pace of 66 points in 45 games (22 goals, 44 assists). Coming into the season, expectations were modest, given most players in the league are 18 or 19 years old, but it hasn’t stopped the 5’11” playmaker from excelling beyond his years.
Despite playing just 45 of the 58-game season, Newhook finished 8th in league scoring, and had the highest points per game average of the entire league, a staggering 1.47.
The BCHL has had its fair share of successful products, with the Victoria-born Benn brothers enjoying successful NHL careers. Former Penticton Vees teammates Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro also starred in the BCHL, and were selected 10th and 17th respectively in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
All of those players were top-10 in scoring during their 17-year old seasons, but showed promise, not prodigy during their 16-year old campaigns.
Kyle Turris, for example, finished 17th in league scoring back in the 2005-06 season as a 16-year old. He, along with Newhook are the only players in the past 14 years to finish top 20 in BCHL scoring as 16-year olds. And if Newhook wouldn’t have broken his wrist, who knows, he may even have led the league in scoring, and almost assuredly finished top-3.
We have a phenom on our hands, Victoria, and barring a surprise he should wear the Victoria Grizzlies sweater again next season as he finishes his grade 12 year. After that, it’s expected he will go to Boston College to follow his hockey dreams and continue his pursuit of the National Hockey League.
You can see Newhook and the Grizzlies in action tonight at the Q Centre Arena!
Victoria Grizzlies second round playoff schedule:
- Friday, March 16 in Victoria at the Q Centre Arena – 7pm
- Saturday, March 17 in Victoria at the Q Centre Arena – 7pm
- Monday, March 19 in Powell River 7pm
- Tuesday, March 20 in Powell River 7pm
- Friday, March 23 in Victoria at the Q Centre Arena – 7pm *
- Saturday, March 24 in Powell River 7pm *
- Monday, March 26 in Victoria at the Q Centre Arena – Victoria 7pm *