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Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Kent Hughes may have pulled off an unexpected steal: things are looking better than ever with the acquisition of Alex Newhook

Published March 25, 2024 at 5:42 PM
BY AARON
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Since his arrival as the General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens, Kent Hughes has clearly shown that he wouldn't hesitate to make a trade if it could help the organization improve in the long term.

In the midst of a rebuild, he managed to part with veterans like Tyler Toffoli, Sean Monahan, Mike Hoffman, Ben Chariot, Joel Edmundson, and Jake Allen with the goal of acquiring several draft picks.

However, part of his strategy also involves acquiring young, promising forwards to enhance the rebuilding process undertaken by the management, as seen in the last two draft sessions with the additions of Kirby Dach (2022) and Alex Newhook (2023).

Although he mainly targeted players experiencing some difficulties at the time of the trade, he made sure to acquire forwards with genuinely high potential. After all, Kirby Dach was selected 3rd overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2019, while Alex Newhook was drafted 16th overall by the Colorado Avalanche, right after Cole Caufield was picked by the Canadiens.


Even if this approach may seem risky, given that Dach and Newhook hadn't reached their full potential, it appears to be paying off for the Montreal Canadiens at the moment. Indeed, despite injuries, number 77 has undoubtedly proven he has the talent necessary to become a key player in Martin St-Louis' lineup. As for Alex Newhook, a frankly interesting improvement has been observed in his offensive contribution this season.

«Alex Newhook was acquired last June 27th in return for picks #31 and #37 in the 2023 draft.

He had collected 30 points in 82 games with the Avalanche (0.37ppg).

This season, he has collected 24 in 43 (0.56ppg) while being shuffled between wing and center and without top 6 line mates (notably Armia and Anderson).

The progression in offensive statistics is there. And he just turned 23 in January. If he stays healthy and plays with top 6 caliber players, he will be able to produce 50-55 points/season in my opinion.

A good trade by Kent Hughes? It's too early to say without a doubt, certainly, but it seems to be heading in the right direction!» - Marc-Olivier Beaudoin

As Marc-Olivier Beaudoin points out, Alex Newhook has significantly improved his offensive production since arriving in the city. After a season of only 30 points in 82 games last year (0.37 point per game), the forward is just six points shy of his last season's tally, having played 39 games fewer.

In fact, the Blue-Blanc-Rouge's number 15 has gathered 12 goals and 12 assists (24 points) in 46 games, averaging 0.56 point per game. It's also worth mentioning that, due to Kirby Dach's absence, Newhook has primarily played alongside players like Joel Armia and Josh Anderson, who are not particularly known for their offensive contributions.

Assuming he will play alongside Kirby Dach and Joshua Roy next year (unless a trade happens), we can expect his statistics to increase significantly. His exceptional skating and powerful shot make him a dangerous asset in the offensive zone, and we're eager to see him play with true top 6 forwards.

All in all, everything suggests that Kent Hughes has once again succeeded in his gamble, and he might repeat it in this summer's draft as he aims to position his team for a playoff run in 2024-2025.

POLL
March 25   |   220 answers
Kent Hughes may have pulled off an unexpected steal: things are looking better than ever with the acquisition of Alex Newhook

Do you think the Montreal Canadiens will end up winning the Alex Newhook trade?

Yes19789.5 %
No2310.5 %
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