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On Campus: Avalanche prospect Newhook gets high praise

Freshman forward compared to Kreider, Gaudreau by Boston College coach

by Mark Divver / Independent Correspondent

Alex Newhook is having a strong second half of his freshman season.

The 19-year-old Boston College center led NCAA Division I men's hockey in February with 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in nine games. He had six multipoint games, including a five-point game (two goals, three assists) against Merrimack on Feb. 15.

With 40 points (19 goals, 21 assists) in 32 games, he is tied for ninth in the NCAA with 1.25 points per game.

Newhook, from St. John's, Newfoundland, had a top-notch pedigree coming into Boston College. He was selected No. 16 by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2019 NHL Draft after leading the British Columbia Hockey League with 102 points (38 goals, 64 assists) in 53 games for Victoria.

But even Newhook's coach has been surprised by his early success.

"To be quite honest, I did not think he could do it this quickly,'' said Jerry York, who has won five NCAA titles and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November. "For a freshman at this level, it's pretty inspiring to watch. He's got great hockey sense. His skating is very powerful."

York compared Newhook to three of his former players who have gone on to excel in the NHL.

"He's got a whole extra speed, reminds me of (New York Rangers forward) Chris Kreider type of speed. He's got that type of jump right from a standstill,'' York said. "He's got some of (Calgary Flames forward) Johnny Gaudreau's hockey instincts, his sense of where the other players are when he has the puck and where he should go when you have the puck. And he's got that competitiveness like (retired forward) Brian Gionta.

"But he's Alex Newhook. He's quite a young man. The locker room just loves him. His enthusiasm is infectious.''

The Boston College coaching staff's decision to assemble an all-freshmen line of Newhook, Mike Hardman, and Matt Boldy has paid off. In addition to Newhook's 40 points, Boldy, selected No. 12 by the Minnesota Wild in the 2019 draft, has 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) in 32 games. The undrafted Hardman has 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in 32 games.

"Sometimes you just mix the pot around and we came up with a good line there,'' said York.

Newhook (5-foot-10, 190 pounds) was recognized on Thursday for his strong February as he was named the Hockey Commissioners Association National Player and Rookie of the Month.

"He wants to learn. He watches tons of NHL games," York said. "He watches film. He wants to be the very best he can be, and that's going to be pretty good."


Life of Reilly

Reilly Walsh scored a goal and had one assist to help Harvard to a 4-1 win against Union on Feb. 29

The 20-year-old junior defenseman has 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) in 28 games.

Walsh (5-11, 181) was selected in the third round (No. 81) of the 2017 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils.

His father, Mike, played 14 games for the New York Islanders in 1987-88 and 1988-89.


Laczynski leads

Tanner Laczynski has scored goals in three straight games for Ohio State.

The 22-year-old senior has a team-leading 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists) in 34 games this season. He has 140 points (47 goals, 93 assists) in 136 games in his four seasons at Ohio State.

Laczynski (6-1, 190) was selected in the sixth round (No. 169) by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2016 NHL Draft.


Leonard on fire

John Leonard has scored 10 goals in seven games since he was a healthy scratch for UMass on Jan. 25.

After scoring each of UMass' goals in a 3-2 loss to Connecticut on Feb. 28, Leonard scored a goal and had an assist on three others in a 4-3 victory in a rematch the next night.

Leonard (5-11, 183) leads Division I with 27 goals in 32 games. He is the top scorer for UMass with 37 points.

The 21-year-old junior was selected the sixth round (No. 182) by the San Jose Sharks in the 2018 NHL Draft.


Progress for Pettersen

Mathias Emilio Pettersen has doubled his goal production in his sophomore season at the University of Denver.

The 19-year-old forward from Norway, who has 12 goals this season after scoring six a year ago, scored goals in each game last weekend when Denver split with St. Cloud. On Feb. 22, he scored twice and assisted on two goals in a win against Miami.

Pettersen (5-10, 170) leads Denver in scoring with 33 points (12 goals, 21 assists) in 34 games.

He was selected in the sixth round (No. 167) of the 2018 draft by the Calgary Flames.


Timely goal for Samberg

Dylan Samberg picked the right time to score his first goal of the season. 

The 21-year-old junior defenseman's power-play goal in the second period was the game-winner for Minnesota-Duluth in a 4-2 victory at Colorado College last Friday.

Samberg (6-3, 190) was selected in the second round (No. 43) of the 2017 draft by the Winnipeg Jets.

He has 17 points (one goal, 16 assists) in 26 games.

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