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Arpon Basu sees Newhook starting the season alongside Suzuki and Caufield
Kent Hughes said in his end-of-season review that he was interested in a Kirby Dach-style deal this summer.

And that’s exactly what he’s done, with the signing of Alex Newhook from Colorado. Newhook, like Dach, comes to Montreal at a very young age with the goal of reaching his full potential, something he was unable to accomplish with the Avalanche.

To this end, Martin St-Louis admitted a few hours after the trade that Newhook will be given the opportunity to shine. The goal is for him to play on one of the first two attacking trios, in a role that will maximize his progress on the ice.

Newhook is a natural center who can also play on the wing. He has the tools in his bag to become a good player in the National League, and that’s why Kent Hughes went looking for him.

Even if the season doesn’t start until October, we can already start having fun with the attacking trios puzzle. Arpon Basu (The Athletic) lent himself to the exercise in a recent text…

And I particularly like the composition of the first two lines. It goes like this:

  • Caufield – Suzuki – Newhook
  • Monahan – Dach – Anderson

That’s assuming Christian Dvorak (injured) is healthy enough to play the first game of the campaign. If not, Juraj Slafkovsky would take Monahan’s place on the right of the second line, while Monahan would pilot the center of the third unit.

That said, in either case, Newhook would have his place on the first line.

He sees Newhook starting the season alongside Suzuki and Caufield because, in his eyes, the Habs would like that to be the case. The journalist believes that Newhook’s speed would be a nice “fit” with the other two young players’ respective styles of play, both offensively and defensively…

And I must admit, I don’t hate the idea.

For Newhook to demonstrate his skills, he needs to be given plenty of playing time and an important role.

Putting him just anywhere in the line-up isn’t going to do it, and Martin St-Louis is certainly aware of that.

After all, the newcomer’s situation is similar to that of Kirby Dach last year. St-Louis gave Dach significant responsibility last season and we saw what happened, as we witnessed the former third overall pick’s meteoric rise.

Newhook should be no different.

It’s a little difficult, as of today, to create any expectations with Alex Newhook because we haven’t really seen him play yet. But the CH’s upcoming training camp should help us in that regard, and Newhook will certainly be one of the most interesting candidates to watch.

The observation remains the same, however. Alex Newhook on the first line… A pleasant idea that is likely to continue to gain ground between now and the season opener.

In Brief

– The camaraderie is still there at the Leafs.

– (Another) exclamation point on Erik Karlsson’s fine 22-23 season.

– Great story.

– Things continue to move in the MLB as the trade deadline approaches.

– Well said.

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