‘I have a sister who’s better than me’: NHL’s 1st-round pick Alex Newhook shares spotlight with sister Abby

At the recent NHL draft in Vancouver the 16th overall pick, Alex Newhook, filled out a questionnaire to help people get to know him better – his answer to question two got a fair bit of attention. 

The fill-in-the blank sheet asked, “Not a lot of people know that I … ” to which the 18 year-old wrote, “I have a sister who is better than me at hockey.”

The sister he referred to is 15-year-old Abby Newhook.

Abby wasn’t shocked by what her big brother wrote

“He’s always supported me growing up so it’s pretty cool that during his big moment he brought me into it,” she said.

“It’s just the person he is.”

Growing up at the rink

Abby Newhook joined her parents, Paula and Shawn Newhook, at the NHL draft to watch Alex get scooped up by the Colorado Avalanche 16th overall – making him the sixth person from Newfoundland and Labrador to go in the league’s first round; something that hasn’t happened since Danny Cleary was picked 13th in 1997. 

Abby isn’t in her brothers shadow, but does credit him for getting her into hockey.

“I was always at the rink growing up and I decided that since Alex is out there that I wanted to be like him, so I started playing,” she said.

She not only played, she excelled.

The younger Newhook just completed Grade 10 at Tabor Academy, a prep school about an hour outside of Boston.

She also plays for a club – the Baystate Breakers – and has two years left with both teams before heading to Boston College, where Alex is also slated to go in the fall, on a full scholarship.

“I hope it will bring out opportunities,” she said.

Abby Newhook, 15, has committed to the Boston College Eagles, where she’ll start playing in 2021. (Submitted by Shawn Newhook)

“There is a lot of work to do … I thought Boston College was a good place for me.”

Olympic dreams

While Abby got to watch her brother’s — and her family’s — dream of making the NHL come true, she hopes the hockey world will change and give her that same chance.

“The opportunity for guys is just so much more than girls right now,” she said.

“I hope that something arises in the next few years, or even when I get out of college, so that there is the same opportunity, but there is a long way to go.”

Not that it slows her down at all.

She’ll spend the summer at home training before heading to the U.S. in late July for a tournament with her club team.

Abby will also keep a close eye on her inbox for an invitation to try out for Team Canada’s Under 18 team. 

“My goal would be to play in the Olympics, I know that’s a long way away,” she said.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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