Prospect Weekly: A visit from Alex Newhook and Drew Helleson

In just the second weekend on the young 2019-20 collegiate season Boston College took a jaunt westward and brought their two Colorado Avalanche prospects Alex Newhook and Drew Helleson in tow for a weekend set of games against top ranked Denver.

With such a rare opportunity to see important prospects, who were also recent high draft picks for the organization, up close and personal (literally, row 3), I took in the Friday night contest which was the first game of the meeting.

The game ended in a 3-0 victory for DU but little offense occurred as two of the scores were empty net goals and the other was the result of the NCAA requisite nightly five minute major penalty. Boston College was held to just 26 shots and there were 14 power play opportunities between the two teams, thus even strength flow was difficult to find.

One of their best opportunities for the visitors was courtesy of Newhook who exploded down the wing and rang a shot off the far post. So close. Newhook plays with a lot of speed and jump in his game, always ready to pounce on a loose puck and turn up the ice or use his soft hands to make a play. Adding strength will help him along the boards and in battles with the opposition and help him turn those bursts into production. Newhook also is still getting his feet wet on the defensive end and the coaching staff has eased some of those responsibilities by playing him on the left wing for now with second unit power play duties as well.

As for Helleson he was solid and steady in his role as a top four defenseman this evening and for all the time BC spent killing penalties Helleson was rotated in frequently. He takes a cerebral approach to defending by using his positioning and good stick work to ward off trouble. This may come off as a more passive way of defending not unlike in the style of say Chris Bigras but it can be a very effective and efficient approach. Helleson also gets in on the offense by making a good first pass and uses his shot in select opportunities.

Naturally the following evening was when the game opened up a touch as the non-conference opponents were more familiar with each other and both Newhook and Helleson recorded their first NCAA goals.

First up was Newhook who managed to find a rebound and deposited the puck in the net whilst shorthanded as seen below for the first tally of the game. Penalty killing wasn’t a main job of his in my viewing but it is encouraging the coaching staff is placing Newhook in many different situations early on in his NCAA career. This was Newhook’s first point off of five shots on goal thus far.

Helleson then added the bookend for Boston College’s final goal of the evening in a 6-4 loss. Helleson converted on a seeing-eye shot from the point which took a while to determine if it had hit a teammate in front of the net but eventually concluded had not. This also was Helleson’s first point on three shots on goal.

Up next for the two BC Avalanche prospects is a return home to host Providence in their single match of the weekend on Friday, October 25th.


Credit photo to Boston College


Aka tigervixxxen, prospect junkie.

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