Winterhawks centreman Reece Newkirk was one of the quickest risers in the NHL Draft rankings in preparation for the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver. The 17-year-old skater went from an unranked draft prospect in the fall to nearly cracking the top 80 on NHL’s Central Scouting List that was released in June.
The first-year draft eligible skater played in all 68 games this season, totaling career highs with 23 goals and 36 assists for 59 points. Newkirk is an all-situations player who has a knack for getting to the net. Just as important is his willingness to battle on the forecheck and retrieve pucks. He plays with an edge and he was handsomely rewarded for his efforts on both ends of the ice.
Before the holiday break, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound forward was often playing on the Winterhawks top line with NHL prospects Cody Glass (Vegas) and Joachim Blichfeld (San Jose), but his versatility allowed him to effectively play different roles in the top six for the coaches as needed. Newkirk is also worth his weight in gold as a top-end special teams player for the Winterhawks. He has a strong hockey IQ that should help propel him to the next level as he continues his WHL career.
WHERE HE RANKS:
#70 – The Athletic (Scott Wheeler)
#81 – NHL Central Scouting (North American Skaters)
#110 – Future Considerations
#170 – McKeen’s Draft Guide
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