SAN JOSE, CALIF. – Alex Newhook’s NHL career starts tonight with the Colorado Avalanche.
Newhook, one of two first-round picks of the Avs in 2019, will play tonight against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center. Newhook was called up by the Avs on Sunday, to the taxi squad, but got a quick promotion after some skating and video review with coach Jared Bednar. Bednar made his initial disclosure about Newhook playing on his weekly radio show on Altitude 92.5.
Bednar later met the media on Zoom, and talked about Newhook. He said he will be center on a line with Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky. Kadri will play at left wing.
“He’s done real well in a short time with the Eagles, looks like he’s ready. In order to play with our team, you have to go in and make an impact. After that, our lineup will be determined whether you’re making an impact and helping us win. He looks bigger and stronger than the last time I saw him. Looks quick and more than anything, he’s putting the puck in the net. So, away we go. We’ll see how he plays,” Bednar said.
Kiefer Sherwood will come out of the Avs forward lineup to make room for Newhook, and there will be one other lineup change: Jacob MacDonald is back, so Dan Renouf will come out. Bednar also said that Tyson Jost will go back to centering a line with Joonas Donskoi and Valeri Nichushkin, a line that was very effective earlier in the season before Covid issues took Donskoi out of the lineup.
“I’m excited,” Newhook said. “I’m really proud to be here and to get in the lineup with this group of guys. I had a pretty good idea (I’d play) yesterday, but I officially got the word this morning.”
Newhook becomes the 29th player from Newfoundland to play in the NHL.
“I’m sure (people back home) will stay up for the late game,” Newhook said.
About centering a line with Kadri and Burakovsky, Newhook said, “They’ve played a lot of years in the NHL, so it’s great to play with those guys.”
Bednar is not divulging who his goalie is anymore on game days, so it remains unclear who starts tonight, but the smart money is on Philipp Grubauer.
Speaking of betting money, the Avs are -270 favorites to win outright at SuperBook Colorado, and -110 to win on the puck line (win by two or more goals). There is also an odds boost, from +170 to +200, if both teams score in the first period. Place your bets here.