After punctuating his regular-season with an exclamation mark, BCHL scoring champ gets ready for the playoffs, NHL Draft and a collegiate career
The Victoria Grizzlies played their final game of the 2018-19 British Columbia Hockey League’s regular season Saturday, and Alex Newhook didn’t have a point.
But that’s only because he didn’t play.
The 18-year-old from St. John’s, who is the Grizzlies’ captain, got the night off for what turned out to be a 7-4 win over the Cowichan Lake Capitals, most likely because the game didn’t mean anything in terms of the standings for the Grizzlies, who had already clinched first place in the league’s Mainland Division.
Or maybe it was because Newhook was tired out from all the goal celebrations the night previous.
On Friday, Newhook had eight points on three goals and five assists in a 10-6 win over the Nanaimo Clippers, a performance that put the centre over the 100-point mark and added emphasis to his status as the BCHL’s scoring leaders.
Newhook finished the regular season with 102 points — 18 more than the league’s next highest scorer — and becoming the first member of the Grizzlies to eclipse the 100-point mark since Tyler Bozak did it 12 years ago.
Bozak, now a member of the National Hockey League’s\ St. Louis Blues, had 111 points in 2006-07 playing on a Grizzlies team that also included present-day Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn.
But Bozak did it as a 20-year-old. Newhook only turned 18 last month and is the second-youngest player among the BCHL’s top 20 scorers this season. Only teammate Alexander Campbell, who finished with 66 points, has a later birthdate is in that group. Campbell turns 18 on Wednesday.
Newhook is also just the seventh player to score 100 points in the BCHL during his draft year. The others are Scott Gomez, Tyson Jost, Chuck Kobasew, Martin Kariya, Jeff Tambellini and Kyle Turris.
All, except for the diminutive Kariya, went on to play in the NHL after being first-round draft picks.
The 5-10, 195-pound Newhook is ranked 16th among skaters by Central Scouting for this June’s NHL Entry Draft, although there are some draft predictors who have him as a top-10 selection.
The draft will be part of what is a pivotal year for Newhook, who will be in BC next season, but on the other side of the continent; that’s BC as in Boston College, for whom he’ll play beginning this fall.
Newhook maintained his commitment to Boston College despite strong overtures last summer from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Halifax Mooseheads, who hold his major junior rights, and who are hosts for the Memorial Cup this spring.
And there is still business to do with the Grizzlies (36-18-4), who will face the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in the first round of the playoffs starting on the weekend.
Newhook, who will be awarded the Brett Hull Award as the league’s top scorer, is also among the finalists for the Vern Dye Memorial Award as the BCHL’s most valuable player.
Newhook had been a finalist as the league MVP in 2017-18, but was runner-up to Jasper Weatherby of the eventual league champion Wenatchee Wild. Weatherby, a San Jose Sharks' draft pick, is now at the University of North Dakota.
However, Newhook was named the B.C. league’s top rookie and later, the top rookie player in all of Canadian junior A hockey.
As the British Columbia Hockey League's top point-getter for 2018-19, Alex Newhook has his name added to a list of former BCHL scoring champions that includes a Hockey Hall of Famer and a number of others who went on to success in the National Hockey League.
The Hall of Famer is Brett Hull, for whom the B.C. league's top scorer award is now named. Here is a list of notable winners of the award:
- 2010, Beau Bennett, Penticton Vees
- 2007, Tyler Bozak, Victoria Grizzlies
- 2002, Jeff Tambellini, Chilliwack Chiefs
- 1996, Shawn Horcoff, Chilliwack Chiefs
- 1984, Brett Hull, Penticton Knights
- 1982, Ray Ferraro, Penticton Knights