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Kent Hughes' Horrible Mistake in the 2023 Draft Emerges: the Decision to Trade for Alex Newhook May Have Lost the Canadiens a Key Power Forward

Published December 14, 2023 at 7:26 PM
BY AARON

The Montreal Canadiens made a bold choice in the last draft by completing a second major trade in two years, aiming to accelerate the rebuilding process with the acquisition of an established young NHL player.

Kent Hughes managed to acquire forward Alex Newhook from Colorado in exchange for the 31st and 37th overall picks. This trade was received with mixed reactions in the hockey world, due to the price paid.

A few months later, unfortunately, Newhook suffered a serious injury after 23 games in his first season in Montreal. He had still managed to score seven goals and accumulate 13 points during this period, which translates to a production pace equivalent to 23 goals and 43 points over a full season.

However, a point to consider is what the Canadiens had to give up to add this 22-year-old player. The 31st pick turned into Mikhail Gulyayev, a promising offensive defenseman, while the 37th pick, later traded to Tampa Bay, was used to select Quebecer Ethan Gauthier.


Regarding Gauthier, he has just signed his first contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning after a good start to the season with the Sherbrooke Phoenix.


It is probable that Gulyayev was not a choice considered by the CH, but Gauthier, on the other hand, was certainly on Kent Hughes's radar with one of the two selections he traded.

Gauthier is a versatile forward, possessing character and dynamism in his game, with the ability to contribute offensively. This type of player is rare and met several interesting criteria.

It is still too early to fully evaluate the outcome of this transaction. However, Gauthier's development could call into question Hughes's decision in the years to come, not to mention the second pick that the organization could have used with the other choice included in the trade.

This strategic move made by Kent Hughes will be scrutinized and analyzed for a long time.
POLL
December 14   |   230 answers
Kent Hughes' Horrible Mistake in the 2023 Draft Emerges: the Decision to Trade for Alex Newhook May Have Lost the Canadiens a Key Power Forward

Who would you rather have?

Alex Newhook17174.3 %
Mikhail Gulyayev2611.3 %
Ethan Gauthier3314.3 %
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