HabsWorld.net -- 

Last year, after acquiring Kirby Dach at the draft, Montreal somewhat surprisingly gave him a four-year bridge contract.  They’ve taken the same approach with newcomer acquisition as the team announced on Tuesday that they’ve inked the forward to a four-year contract.  The deal carries a cap hit of $2.9 million and breaks down as follows:

2023-24: $3.5 million
2024-25: $3.3 million
2025-26: $2.7 million
2026-27: $2.1 million

The Habs acquired Newhook just before the draft, sending the 31st and 37th picks along with defenceman Gianni Fairbrother to Colorado to acquire his services.  (The Avs then flipped the 37th pick to Tampa Bay to pick up Ross Colton.)

Last season, the 22-year-old played in 82 games for the Avalanche, picking up 14 goals and 16 assists.  However, in a parallel that also resembles Dach, he didn’t thrive when given the chance to play a bigger role in their lineup.  Eventually, J.T. Compher took over anchoring their second line and Newhook found himself relegated to the fourth line by the playoffs.

However, Newhook is only a few years removed from being the 16th pick in the draft, going one spot after Cole Caufield.  It’s clear that the Habs believe that he has another level to get to and this contract, one that is above market value based on his production, reflects that expectation.

Despite this being a four-year agreement, Newhook will still be a restricted free agent at its conclusion.  At that time, he’ll have salary arbitration eligibility and both sides should have a much better understanding as to whether he’ll be a core piece for this organization over the long term.  Notably, the back-loaded structure of this deal results in Newhook’s qualifying offer in 2027 being just $2.1 million.

The Canadiens now have three remaining restricted free agents – forwards Lucas Condotta and Jesse Ylonen plus defenceman Nicolas Beaudin.