Former Victoria Grizzlies captain Alex Newhook during Team Canada selection camp in Red Deer. Newhook will play forward for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships. (Hockey Canada/Rob Wallator)

Former Victoria Grizzlies captain Alex Newhook during Team Canada selection camp in Red Deer. Newhook will play forward for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships. (Hockey Canada/Rob Wallator)

Former Victoria hockey star Alex Newhook cracks Team Canada

After a month in Red Deer, Newhook ready for World Juniors

In what has essentially been a month-long quarantine in Red Deer, Alta., former Victoria Grizzlies star Alex Newhook has had to find many ways to kill time.

And it doesn’t include the go-to teenage time burner of video games.

“Not for me, not a big video games guy. I hear the other guys shouting and screaming [from their rooms],” said the first-round draft pick of the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.

This past month has been the latest test for Newhook, whose patience and hard work paid off on Friday as the 19-year-old was selected to Team Canada’s 2021 World Junior Championships team that will play in Edmonton. The team remains in Red Deer but will head to Edmonton soon for exhibition games and Christmas Day until Jan. 5.

Newhook played for the Grizzlies from 2017 to 2019. In 2017-18 he won BCHL rookie of the year. In 2018-19 he served as the Grizzlies captain and led the BCHL in scoring with 28 goals and 102 points in 53 games. Colorado then picked him 16th overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

West Shore’s Dylan Garand, who plays goalie for the Kamloops Blazers, also made Team Canada.

READ ALSO: Newhook heads to worlds as BCHL MVP, top scorer

The World Juniors tournament itself is on thin ice as Hockey Canada had two players test positive and sent five home as “unfit” to play. The Swedish camp sent away four players for testing positive for COVID-19, the U.S.A. team three players and Germany two players. Even the International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel tested positive this week.

“In Red Deer the bubble is confined and we’re not taking any chances with the scare we had. We travel to Edmonton on Sunday, then we isolate for five days again. Then the bubble is similar to what the NHL did for the playoffs,” Newhook said.

With everyone under mandatory two-week quarantine and further isolation in Edmonton, tournament organizers believe the event will go on.

It makes for a very happy Newhook who was cut from training camp ahead of last year’s tournament, despite scoring the only goal in an exhibition game against U-Sports all-star players.

“The feeling is crazy. It’s a lot of emotions going through the head and a lot of excitement. It’s been a long year, I’m ready to go and ready to defend the gold medal,” Newhook said.

The bitterness of being cut from last year’s team – and then watching that team win gold – was only fuel for Newhook. He used it as further motivation and turned in a monster rookie season as an 18-year-old with Boston College in the NCAA. He ended the year as Boston College’s top scorer with 19 goals and 23 assists for 42 points in 34 games.

“Last year was a learning experience and I was definitely disappointed. Looking back, it helped me find a new gear with Boston College,” he said.

READ ALSO: Five Victoria Grizzlies players invited to World Juniors selection camp

Newhook has represented Canada regionally and nationally for most of his teenage life, having played at the U17 national championships and at the U18 and World Junior A championships.

He left Boston and arrived in Red Deer about a month ago and went straight into isolation and quarantine. Just when they thought they’d get some freedom everything was shut down again as Team Canada invites tested positive.

“It was tough. I’ve done some Zoom workouts. The team set up bikes in the room, and we have social hours and team meetings that keep us busy,” Newhook said.

As for food, it’s all hotel room service. Three meals a day and a snack.

On the ice, Newhook has been taking line rushes with Dylan Holloway (an Edmonton Oilers first-round pick) of University of Wisconsin, who is the only other NCAA player to make the cut, and Jakob Pelletier (a Calgary Flames first-round pick) of Val-d’Or in the Quebec major-junior league.

“I know most of the guys from over the years, having been around the Hockey Canada programs of excellence,” Newhook said.

Canada opens the 2021 World Junior Championship on Dec. 26 against Germany at 3 p.m. PST. All games are broadcast on TSN.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

hockey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

Island Health is expected to begin public consultations soon on its controversial plans to open a new wellness and recovery centre at 5878 York Road. (File photo)
Public consultations on Duncan wellness and recovery centre coming in February

Controversial facility on York Road scheduled to open in June

Jerry Dyck plans to purchase a new RV to drive across Canada in, once it’s safe to travel again. (Courtesy BCLC)
Victoria man plans post-pandemic cross-Canada RV trip after $2M lottery win

Retired electrician bought the winning ticket in Duncan

Providence Health Care has teamed up with partners, including Island Health, to launch the first remote cochlear implant (CI) mapping program for adults in British Columbia. Duncan’s Alan Holt was one of the first to test it out. (Submitted)
Remote cochlear clinic offers shorter commute for patients like Duncan’s Alan Holt

Duncan man one of the first to test virtual mapping program

Larry Fiege, right, from Fiege’s Farm shows a rapt audience the old-fashioned way to tap a Bigleaf Maple during the Maple Syrup Festival at the BC Forest Discovery Centre Feb. 1 and 2, 2020. (Andrea Rondeau/Citizen)
Maple Syrup Festival in Duncan cancelled

The annual syrup festival is a popular event at the BC Forest Discovery Centre

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Island artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

Most Read