Former Victoria Grizzlies captain set to make NHL debut

Former Victoria Grizzlies captain set to make NHL debut
Alex Newhook, who played on the Victoria Grizzlies from 2017 to 2019, is set to make his NHL debut.

Another hockey player with a Vancouver Island connection is set to make the leap to the big time with his NHL debut.

Former Victoria Grizzlies captain, Alex Newhook, has officially been called up and will play his first National Hockey League game with the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Newhook gets the call-up from the Avalanche’s AHL affiliate, the Colorado Eagles — a team he has been playing on for only eight games after signing out of Boston College at the end of March.

In those eight games, Newhook racked up five goals and nine points before getting the call to the NHL.

While playing in the BC Hockey League on Vancouver Island, the 20-year-old earned the BC Hockey League (BCHL) Rookie of the Year, BCHL MVP, and the BCHL scoring title in the span of two years between 2017 and 2019.

He was drafted 16th overall by the Colorado Avalanche during the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

More recently, Newhook was also selected to play for Team Canada at the 2021 World Junior Hockey Championships in Edmonton.

The St. John’s, Newfoundland-native will slot in tonight as the second-line centre for the Avalanche, between wingers Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky.

The high-flying Colorado Avalanche, led by elite goal-scorer Nathan MacKinnon, currently sits second in the NHL’s Honda West Division standings and has already clinched a spot in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The club trails only the Vegas Golden Knights in the standings, a team that has also boasted former Vancouver Island talent at times this season.

Dylan Coghlan, who was born in Duncan but grew up in Nanaimo, debuted in the NHL as well earlier this season, making a major splash with Vegas. In his first-ever NHL game, Coghlan tallied a hat trick. He became just the third defenseman in NHL history to score his first three career goals in the same game.

Since his debut, Coghlan has suited up for 28 total games this season with the Golden Knights.

The eyes of Vancouver Island hockey fans will now shift to the former Victoria Grizzlies star in order to see what Newhook might bring in his NHL debut tonight.

The Avs will face off against the San Jose Sharks, with puck drop scheduled for 6:30 p.m. PT.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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