UAF hockey’s Max Newton transfers to Merrimack College for senior season
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - When the University of Alaska Fairbanks opted-out of the upcoming hockey season, one thing was clear; the players wanted to play. The hockey program pushed for UAF Administration to reverse the decision, creating a petition that garnered over 2,500 signatures before it closed. When the news became official, it was time for student-athletes to determine what is best for their hockey careers.
UAF senior Max Newton is transferring to Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts to finish out his collegiate career and will be eligible to compete for the Division I program this season. On December 16, the NCAA Division I Council voted to grant a blanket waiver allowing all DI transfers to play immediately this year, which means Newton can suit up for the Warriors in their next game, scheduled for January 8 against the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Newton, named an Assistant Captain last season, has skated in 93 total games for the Blue and Gold in three seasons. The Vancouver, British Columbia-native appeared in every game for the Nanooks in 2019-20 and was second on the team in points last season with 27 (nine goals, 18 assists). Newton was the go-to player for faceoffs, leading all of Division I hockey with 515 faceoff wins at a 64.2% rate. The 23-year-old helped the Nanooks reach their best record in five seasons last year and is a three-time Governor’s Cup Champion.
Prior to signing with the Nanooks, Newton was an Alternate Captain for the British Columbia Hockey League’s Cowichan Valley Capitals, registering 25 goals and 34 assists in 58 games.
As talented as he is on the ice, Newton excels in the classroom as well. Newton was named an NCAA Division I Krampade All-American Scholar by the American Hockey Coaches Association for three consecutive years and was tabbed the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2018-19. Newton has already earned a Business Administration degree with a sport management minor from UAF, graduating magna cum laude (3.700-3.899 Grade Point Average).
Merrimack is 1-3 during the early stages of their season, competing in the Hockey East Association. The Warriors are coached by Scott Borek and currently have two former players in the National Hockey League in Brett Seney (New Jersey Devils) and Collin Delia (Chicago Blackhawks).
Newton is the first Nanook hockey player to transfer following the decision to opt-out by the UAF Administration. Justin Young is now the lone senior on the hockey roster that boasts 19 underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores). The WCHA will continue play without UAF or the University of Alaska Anchorage this season for an 8-team league.
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