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Alex Newhook: at times, he was frustrated with his use in Colorado

It’s done!

For the first time since the deal was announced, Alex Newhook spoke to the Montreal media in an interview on Zoom.

From the outset, the 22-year-old said he was excited to be joining the CH. He’s especially happy to get a change of scenery, because with the Avalanche, he’s never been able to blossom.

This is partly due to his use in Colorado. Newhook was rarely used on the team’s top two, and that, at times, led to frustration.

The player knew he deserved more opportunities to shine and knew that sometimes he was under-utilized by his coach:

It’s understandable. After all, the players all want playing time and they all want to demonstrate their skills. They want to spend time on the ice…

Not on the bench.

All of which is to say that Newhook arrives in Montreal confident of his ability, knowing that he’ll have the opportunity to shine on the ice. The organization’s plan, as was the case with Kirby Dach last year, is to give him the tools he needs to succeed, and he knows it.

He knows he still has things to prove in the NHL… But he also knows what he has to do to get there.

Several elements were discussed in the (short) press conference he gave earlier this afternoon. What do I take away from his comments?

1. I called him back right off the bat, but Newhook is 22. He’s excited at the prospect of joining a group of players who, we agree, are relatively young…

And he believes he can bring them experience, having lifted the Stanley Cup with the Avalanche in 2022. He knows what it takes to go all the way, and even at his age, he has the luxury of bringing leadership to the dressing room.

What’s more, the forward seems to be very mature. To hear him talk, he doesn’t sound like a 22-year-old.

2. Playing for Martin St-Louis is an idea he really likes.

He knows that the CH head coach will give him the offensive freedom he wanted in Colorado. This will allow him to express his qualities on the ice, and he will be able to exploit his great speed to the full with the team’s system of play, which is based on being successful on the counter-attack.

“I’m really looking forward to playing for him,” he says of the CH head coach.

3. Alex Newhook is as comfortable on the wing as he is at center.

This, one way or another, will give Martin St-Louis flexibility in building his line-up. It will be interesting to see who he is paired with at the next training camp. I tend to think that, with his speed, he could well complement a guy like Kirby Dach…

4. The forward doesn’t arrive in Montreal on uncharted territory. He’s familiar with Justin Barron, Kirby Dach and Kaiden Guhle, three guys he’s played with on the international scene.

He should arrive at the end of August to familiarize himself with the city and his new teammates.

5. Negotiations for his new contract were not necessarily complicated. They began “about a week and a half ago” and the player is satisfied with the agreement, both in terms of salary and duration.

A win-win situation for both parties.

6. Newhook has said it I don’t know how many times. He knows how much his speed and quickness have the potential to help the Habs in the near future.

You can really feel that he’s emphasizing this precise element of his game when he talks about what he can bring to the rink. Now it’s up to him to exploit this quality in Montreal.

I really sensed in his comments that he’s eager to prove to everyone in Colorado that he should have been given better opportunities.

He’s coming to town with the knife between his teeth… And that’s the right mentality to have.

A little bird tells me that, like Kirby Dach, he could quickly become a crowd favorite in Montreal. The good news?

He knows how to get there.

In gusto

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