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Newhook plans to hone skills at Boston College before joining Avalanche

Center selected in first round of 2019 Draft led BCHL in scoring last season

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Alex Newhook is looking forward to developing his game at Boston College before joining the Colorado Avalanche.

The Avalanche selected the center (5-foot-11, 195 pounds) in the first round (No. 16) of the 2019 NHL Draft.

"Boston College always has a great program," the 18-year-old said at Colorado's development camp in June. "I've been committed to them for almost three years now and I'm looking forward to getting into that program. Taking my game into that level and trying to be that effective guy right off the bat, it's going to be big for me."

 

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Newhook was captain of Victoria of the British Columbia Hockey League last season and led the league with 102 points (38 goals, 64 assists) in 53 games. He had 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) in 15 playoff games and was the league MVP. Newhook had 10 points (five goals, five assists) in seven games for Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The native of St. John's, Newfoundland, is relishing the challenge that the higher level of competition in Hockey East presents.

"College hockey really sticks out as a place you can grow as a person and as a player," he said. "You play against a lot of older guys and it helps you to get prepared for the next level. It's going to be a good transition, a good path, and I'm really excited about it. Quickness and hockey sense are probably my two leading traits. I try to really be an effective guy in the offensive zone and push the pace that way."

Video: Avalanche draft F Alex Newhook No. 16

Newhook could follow the same path as Avalanche forward Tyson Jost, another BCHL product. Jost played with Penticton, was Colorado's first-round pick (No. 10) in the 2016 NHL Draft and signed his entry-level contract after one season at the University of North Dakota.

"We'll see what happens," Newhook said. "I definitely plan on going to Boston College for at least a year. I think that will be the best step for me."

The Avalanche play an up-tempo style, and Newhook should fit right in when he's ready to make the jump to the NHL.

"He's a great-skating, smart offensive guy who makes things happen," said Avalanche director of amateur scouting Alan Hepple. "Playing in the BCHL, the next step is going to be a little bit tougher, but he's got the speed, the sense, the skill. He's quick, that's the one thing you notice right away. He's fast and he's tough to contain down low. For him it's maturity, finding that man strength, going to school and getting to that next level."

The Avalanche will let Newhook develop at his own pace, Hepple said.

"I think you are seeing more guys going to college instead of right into the NHL," Newhook said. "To see what guys like Tyson Jost and (Avalanche defenseman) Cale [Makar] have done, it's definitely exciting for me. That will be in the back of my mind. I'll stay [in school] as long as I need to and hopefully step right in [to the NHL] from there."

 

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