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St. John's defenceman helping groom top NHL prospect

Acadie-Bathurst Titan photo
Adam Holwell of St. John's is providing scoring punch from the back end for the QMJHL's Acadia-Bathurst Titan. He's one of four Newfoundlanders to play for the Titan this season, joining Jordan Maher of Gander, Zach Bennett of Bay Roberts and Liam Leonard of Clarenville.
Acadie-Bathurst Titan photo Adam Holwell of St. John's is providing scoring punch from the back end for the QMJHL's Acadia-Bathurst Titan. He's one of four Newfoundlanders to play for the Titan this season, joining Jordan Maher of Gander, Zach Bennett of Bay Roberts and Liam Leonard of Clarenville. - Submitted

Holwell very productive on Titan blueline while being paired with Noah Dobson, eighth-ranked player for 2018 NHL Draft

Defenceman Adam Holwell of St. John’s is making the most of what will be his last season in major junior hockey, and in doing so, he’s helping one of the top prospects for the 2018 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

Entering Friday, Howell had 37 points in 51 games for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan. What’s more, he was sporting a plus-30 rating, second best among all QMJHL rearguards.

The left-hand shooting Howell has been putting up those numbers while most often being paired with 18-year-old Noah Dobson, the second-year, right-handed shooting blueliner who was listed eighth overall in NHL Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings for June’s Entry Draft.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie also has pegged Dobson — a native of Summerside, P.E.I. — as the eighth highest prospect, while Sportsnet has him at seventh and the top-ranked Canadian on their board.

The undrafted Holwell has flourished ever since being acquired by the Titan from the Moncton Wildcats in a trade the middle of last season.

The six-foot, 190-pounder has 58 points, including 12 goals and plus-54 rating in 84 games with Acadie-Bathurst since coming over in that deal.

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Alex Newhook is showing no signs of letting up during his amazing first season in the British Columbia Hockey League.

At last glance, the centre from St. John’s has 22 goals and 65 points in 45 games for the Victoria Grizzlies of the junior A circuit. That doesn’t just make Newhook, who turned 17 just two weeks ago, the league’s top-scoring rookie; it also put him just two points out of the overall scoring lead.

But maybe this best puts what Newhook has accomplished this season in perspective: Newhook has a 2001 birth date, and the next highest scorer in the BCHL who was born that year is 82nd overall in points.

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A couple of Newfoundlanders playing with the Pensacola Ice Flyers of the Southern Professional Hockey League turned it up when the calendar turned to February.

The Florida panhandle team played back-to-back games against the visiting Evansville Thunderbolts last weekend, winning both games, by 9-5 and 8-2 scores.

Clarenville’s Ken Neil had two goals, three assists and a plus-five rating over the two games, but St. John’s native and fellow left-winger Shayne Morrissey did even better, with four goals, three assists and a plus-six rating.

Morrissey turned 25 last month. Neil will turn 25 in March.

brendan.mccarthy@thetelegram.com

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