The New York Islanders announced that forward Reece Newkirk, their 2019 fifth-round pick (147th overall) has signed his three-year entry level contract.
Newkirk just finished up his fourth season with WHL Portland Winterhawks, which had an abridged and geo-fenced season due to the pandemic. In 24 games this season he had 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists), including a six-game points streak leading into the finale.
Overall, the Moose Jaw native compiled 162 points (69 goals, 93 assists) in 205 career WHL games, plus three assists in 17 career playoff games. He was a teammate for the lone Portland season of Islanders winger Kieffer Bellows, who of course had good things to say about him.
Listed at 5’11, he wasn’t much on the radar heading into his draft year but ultimately caught people’s attention. He’s described as a determined competitor, smart in the 200-foot sense, and a good passer. For Portland he played in all phases, and he’s a candidate to be a useful bottom-six type, ideally still at center. That tutelage should begin at Bridgeport next season.
Here are a few game highlights from The Before Time, with crowds ‘n stuff. He’s wearing #12 in those clips.
Night Wizard Kind of Guy
A local TV outlet, KOIN 6, got to know him a little better last month, so now you know he’s already adept at our pandemic-ear Zoom interviews. And perhaps you can call him a fruit-loving Night Wizard:
(Also: If you think you’re following him on Facebook, that’s not really him.)
He also can sling a Dad Joke with the best of ‘em.