Winterhawks forward Newkirk signs entry-level contract with Islanders

Megan Connelly

On the heels of a successful 2020-21 WHL season, Portland Winterhawks forward Reece Newkirk has signed his three-year, entry-level contract with the New York Islanders.

Newkirk, a native of Moose Jaw, Sask., was the Islanders’ fifth round selection (147th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft.

The 5-foot-11, 182-pound centre has spent his entire WHL career with Portland. Newkirk was selected in the third round (53rd overall) by the Winterhawks in the 2016 WHL Draft, and has gone on to record 162 career points (69-93–162) in 205 career WHL regular season games.

Newkirk put up career numbers during the 2019-20 WHL season with 29 goals and 65 points, helping Portland claim the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as WHL regular season champions.

The 20 year-old Newkirk finished the 2020-21 season tied for third in Winterhawks scoring with 27 points (9-18–27) in 24 games played, sharing the team lead in game-winning goals with three. He rounded out the campaign with points in ten of his final 12 games.

Newkirk becomes one of three former Portland skaters currently under contract with the Islanders, joining forward Kieffer Bellows (2017-18) and defenceman Braydon Coburn (2001-05).

New York opens the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs Sunday, May 16 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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