CALGARY, Alta. – Coming off an impressive 2017-18 campaign where he was named Top Rookie in the entire Canadian Junior Hockey League, Alex Newhook of the Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) has also earned added responsibility as he looks to add to his already impressive skill set with preparations already underway for the upcoming season.
A highly-touted prospect that is sure to be scouted heavily prior to the 2019 NHL Draft next June in nearby Vancouver, Newhook shone in his first year in the BCHL where he topped all rookies in offensive production accumulating 66 points in just 45 games by scoring 22 times and assisting on 44 others.
Hailing from the opposite end of the country in St. John’s N.L., the 17-year-old, left-handed shooting forward also finished eighth overall in BCHL scoring in 2017-18.
Bound to draw serious consideration for a berth on both Team Canada West at the World Jr. A Challenge in Bonnyville, Alta., in December as well as the CJHL Prospects Game in January, Newhook has already earned the added responsibility of being named the Grizzlies’ captain for 2018-19.
The skilled prospect had earlier committed to Boston College (Hockey East) where he will attend school on NCAA D-I scholarship for the 2019-20 season and skate for the Eagles men’s hockey program.
With Victoria’s BCHL training camp having begun, Newhook previously took time out to give us his views and opinions on this version of CJHL Q&A.
CJHL: Give us your thoughts on being named the CJHL’s Top Rookie this past season.
ALEX NEWHOOK: Being named the CJHL’s top rookie was a huge honour. To be recognized as the top rookie in a league that has 132 teams ranging across Canada, that is something I’m super proud of. Obviously, it is something that doesn’t come without the help of a great team, which I was fortunate to be apart of in Victoria. They are a big part why I was named top Rookie.
CJHL: Can you describe what your first-year CJHL experience was like playing in Victoria and the BCHL.
A.N.: My first year in the CJHL/BCHL was one I’ll never forget. Coming from playing midget; the pace of play was a lot faster and the game was a lot stronger. I really enjoyed playing in the BCHL and Victoria. The group of guys we had on our team last season definitely added to the experience and helped me adjust. It’s a great league that’s very fast and skilled.
CJHL: What are you looking to improve on as you head into your second season in the BCHL and as Grizzlies’ team captain?
A.N.: This year I’m looking to improve my speed and quickness in every area. Whether that’s decision making, defensively, or offensively, I want to improve my speed again this year. Being able to do everything at a high pace is something that is more crucial at every level, so for me, this is what I’d like to work on. I’d also like to improve in the playoffs as a team. Last year we didn’t get the result we wanted, but this year we know what we can achieve and are going to do whatever it takes to win. I also know I have a big responsibility as captain and I just want to focus on the team.
CJHL: What made you decide on committing to Boston College of Hockey East?
A.N.: I chose to commit to BC because everything felt right when I was there. The coaching staff; the facilities; the program history and the schooling are all amazing. Being able to play in Boston at such a great school like BC is something I’m really looking forward too and I’m so happy I chose Boston College.
CJHL: What do you feel you can offer the Eagles’ hockey program when you get to the NCAA?
A.N.: I feel I can offer speed, skill, and creativity to the Eagles program. All three of these assets are shown on the team every year and I’m hoping to bring this with me as I move on to the NCAA. I feel I’m a guy that will do whatever for the team to win and whatever for the Eagles to win once I am there.
Photo credit: Garrett James Photography