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Everybody seems to agree Newfoundlander Alex Newhook is first-rate

Entering Tuesday, Alex Newhook was leading the British Columbia Hockey League scoring race, seven points ahead of the next-highest scorer, who has played three more games than Newhook and who is two-and-a-half years older than the St. John’s native. — Victoria Grizzlies photo/Kyle Robinson
Entering Tuesday, Alex Newhook was leading the British Columbia Hockey League scoring race, seven points ahead of the next-highest scorer, who has played three more games than Newhook and who is two-and-a-half years older than the St. John’s native. — Victoria Grizzlies photo/Kyle Robinson

Mid-term prognostications for 2019 NHL Entry Draft abound and all say centre from St. John’s will be a Day 1 selection

The opinions vary on just where he might go — some say he will be a top 10 pick, others figure he’ll go a bit further down — but they all agree on one thing: St. John’s native Alex Newhook will be a first-round National Hockey League draft selection in June.

It’s the time when mid-season draft predictions start rolling out, and although the NHL’s Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings won’t be released until later this month, there are plenty of other opinions available through reputable online sources.

Some have the 17 year-old centre (he turns 18 in less than two weeks) being selected in the single digits — as high as seventh overall — at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft June 21-22 in Vancouver, while TSN’s Craig Button, for example, has him slotted quite a bit lower. Button ranked Newhook at 25th overall in his latest Craig’s List, which came out last week.

The universal judgment is that Newhook, the captain of the British Columbia Hockey League’s Victoria Grizzlies, will be the first player selected out of the Canadian junior A ranks, and that his skating and puck skills are first-rate, or in this case, first-round rate.

Heading into this week, the 5-11, 185-pound centre was handily leading the entire BCHL in scoring with 69 points, including 24 goals, in 38 games, despite missing time while playing for Team Canada West at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge late last year.

“The BCHL’s leading scorer as a 17-year-old, Newhook is a scoring machine who can marinate for a few years at Boston College until it’s time to groom him as a top-six candidate.”

The Sporting News

Newhook, who is committed to attend Boston College this fall, had four assists in six games and was an assistant captain for the eventual bronze-medal winners at the Junior A Challenge.

Here are draft rankings for Newhook that have been posted on various online sites over the past month, with accompanying commentary, if available:

• Sporting News (mock draft): 10th overall — “The BCHL’s leading scorer as a 17-year-old, Newhook is a scoring machine who can marinate for a few years at Boston College until it’s time to groom him as a top-six candidate.”

• Sportsnet (Sam Cosentino): 17th overall — “Explosive forward missed four league games to play in WJAC and still has a big lead in the BCHL scoring race…. Points come in bunches, and a lot of them are of the highlight variety.”

• The Score.com: 9th overall —”  Newhook still possesses the raw skills we liked so much early in the season — burning speed and playmaking ability — but he needs to pick it back up in the second half following a less-than-impressive World Junior-A Challenge.”

• Sportal: 9th overall — “Boston College-bound playmaker is leading the BCHL in scoring and can finish in a variety of ways.”

• Dobber Prospects (Cam Robinson): 24th overall: “Dangerous hands, good hockey sense and is equally deadly with the pass or the shot. Already a strong defensive player. Has lacked consistency this season, and was less-than-stellar at the WJAC.”

• TSN/Craig Button, Craig’s List: 25th overall

• ISS: 10th overall

• McKeen’s Hockey: 13th overall

• The Hockey Writers (Larry Fisher): 13th overall

• The Draft Analyst: 9th overall

• HockeyProspect.com: 9th overall

• Future Considerations: 19th overall

• Prospect Pipeline: 7th overall

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