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Scouting Report: Alex Newhook

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How do you evaluate a player who plays in a lower-tier league?

NHL: NHL Draft Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Like Tyson Jost in 2016, Alex Newhook is the latest top prospect to play his draft season in the BCHL. Jost was drafted 10th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and is currently playing for the Colorado Avalanche. Newhook decided to take the NCAA route like Jost instead of playing in the CHL. The BCHL is a lower skilled league than the OHL, QMJHL, and WHL, but it is still a good league. Newhook is eligible to play in the NCAA next season which will be great for his development and will be a major step up from his current leagues level of competition and skill.

Scouts are high on Alex Newhook which is understandable considering his production in the BCHL and his skill set in general. Although he is a talented forward with potential, it is important not to get ahead of ourselves and realize who he is playing against. Newhook leads the entire BCHL in points with 53 points in 31 games. Newhook has 10 more points than the player who is second in scoring, Kevin Wall. Last season he finished 8th in scoring with 66 points in 45 games and he had the best PPG percentage in the entire league with 1.47. Next season will be the biggest challenge because Newhook will face increased competition in the NCAA.

Newhook’s talent is obvious when watching him play. His playmaking is the standout part of his game. His greatest strength is his playmaking ability. He is not afraid to make plays that other players wouldn’t even dream of trying. His blazing speed is his best attributes and he sometimes uses his speed to rush past defenders and drive to the net to score. He will not be given the same space to maneuver the puck in the NCAA and NHL, which could take some getting used to. When Newhook isn’t speeding down the middle to the net to score goals, he is positioning himself in prime scoring positions. In fact, majority of his goals are scored by his ability to position himself in prime scoring areas in front of the net. His ability to control the puck off the rebound and his quick release aid him in scoring in front of the net.

When it comes to evaluating Newhook, the only problem is the league he is playing in. While the BCHL is not bad, it is not as strong as the CHL and NCAA. The level of the opponents that he is playing against are not typically near the same skill level as him. This makes it seemingly easier of Newhook to consistently put up highlight real goals and assists. This however does not change the fact that he has all of the skills to become a top-6 forward in the NHL. He passes the eye test with flying colours and looks to have all of the skills to be a top forward at the NHL level. Most draft ranking have him in the top-10 or top-20 and nobody that I have ever seen has him out of the first round. Next season he will play for Boston College of the NCAA and he should adjust to the higher competition well. Besides the typical adjustment period that many players transitioning from junior leagues to the NCAA have, Newhook should not have too much trouble next season and would be a solid pick for any NHL team.