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Alex Newhook: the CH wants to use him on the top-6 (and in every possible way)

Although Pierre-Luc Dubois was (finally) traded today, the big news in Montreal is that the Tricolore has acquired young Alex Newhook from the Avalanche. Much like the deal that brought Kirby Dach to town nearly a year ago, the CH is trying to revive a top prospect who hasn’t reached his full potential with his parent club.

That’s a lot of center players and not a lot of big draft picks this year, but I like the deal in the sense that it represents a first step toward something bigger.

In Colorado, Newhook didn’t really have the chance to get much playing time in a big offensive role considering the talented players in front of him. Martin St-Louis told a press conference that he wants the youngster to play in the top-6.

Obviously, this means he’ll get more playing time than the 12-13 minutes he averaged on the ice per game in Colorado.

And beyond a top-6 role, we want to give Newhook the chance to excel in a multitude of roles. St-Louis loves the youngster’s versatility, and don’t be surprised to see him play on the power play, shorthanded, center and wing.

Hughes admits that Newhook doesn’t have the “same” potential as a guy like Kirby Dach, but he can bring great things to a club. They don’t have the “same” potential, but their potential “goes in the same direction”, in his words.

Because, as Kent Hughes notes, the CH has the luxury of testing like this right now. It’s not in a situation like the Avalanche, which needs to maximize its chances of winning right away: it can take the time to find the right chair for its young forward.

And beyond what he can bring to the ice, Newhook is seen as an important future piece of the core in Montreal. Hughes knows him well as his former agent, but the young forward also knows Dach and Justin Barron, who were teammates with ÉCJ in 2019.

When you listen to Kent Hughes talk, you can sense that he often comes back to the fact that he likes the experience already accumulated by his new protégé. And after all, it’s true that not all 22-year-old players have already won the Stanley Cup.

Even if he’s not the biggest, Hughes and St-Louis don’t seem to mind too much: in their eyes, the fact that he has the potential to excel in a big role is more important.

In short, the newcomer clearly seems to be appreciated by his new organization, and is earning a healthy dose of trust as soon as he arrives in town. We hope that, like Kirby Dach, the change of scenery and the confidence of a new organization will allow him to take off.


At the same press briefing(during which he also talked about Matvei Michkov), Kent Hughes noted that he hadn’t yet officially closed the door on a return to the city for Jonathan Drouin and Alex Belzile.

I have absolutely no faith in the former’s return, but I think there’s still a chance the latter could be back(even if it might take a multi-year, one-part contract to get there).

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