The Canadiens announced on Tuesday that they have acquired centre Alex Newhook from the Colorado Avalanche. In return, the Habs sent the Avalanche their second first-round pick (31st overall, acquired from Florida in the Ben Chiarot deal), their own second-round pick (37th overall), and left-handed defenceman Gianni Fairbrother.
Newhook, 22, was the 16th pick overall in the 2019 NHL Draft, having been selected immediately after the Canadiens’ Cole Caufield. In 159 games with the Avalanche, Newhook has registered 66 points (27G, 39A, +16). This past season, Newhook played in all 82 games for the Avalanche, with respectable but not overwhelming numbers (14G, 16A, 30P, +0) while averaging just under 14 minutes a night. Those minutes dipped to less than ten per game in their first-round loss to Seattle.
At this early stage of his NHL career, Newhook has yet to provide the offence that the Avalanche had hoped for when they drafted him in the middle of the first round. GM Kent Hughes’ agency served as Newhook’s agent prior to Hughes’ appointment as the Habs’ GM and that familiarity likely played a role in this acquisition.
Newhook is set to be a restricted free agent this summer and does not have salary arbitration rights. He has five years of club control remaining, putting him in exactly the same situation as Kirby Dach when he was acquired on the draft floor last summer.
Fairbrother, 22, was a third-round pick by Montreal back in 2019, being selected 77th overall. He has battled injury issues the past two seasons and missed all of 2022-23 after suffering a knee injury in a preseason contest back in October. Rated 33rd in our annual prospect rankings, Fairbrother has one year left on his entry-level contract.
Even after the trade, Montreal still has a total of nine selections in the upcoming draft which will be held on Wednesday and Thursday.