The fun of the off-season is just beginning for the Colorado Avalanche.
Alex Newhook, who was drafted 16th overall by the Avalanche in 2019, is headed to the Montreal Canadiens. In return, Colorado has acquired some significant draft capital. They received the 31st overall pick in Wednesday night’s draft, as well as a second round pick (37th overall). In addition, they picked up defenseman Gianni Fairbrother from the Canadiens.
Fairbrother is a former 3rd round draft pick by Montreal, and missed all of the 2022-23 campaign due to a knee injury. The 22 year old has just 8 points in 28 career AHL games.
The big news, however, is the Avalanche moving on from Newhook. In his second full season in the NHL, all of his numbers took a step back. He was given a chance to start the season as the second line center, but failed to take advantage of the opportunity, going pointless in the first 8 games of the season. From that point on, his season was up and down, as he had some good moments at center, but disappeared offensively the final quarter of the season. In the playoffs, he picked up just one assist.
While he played a lot more center than wing in the second half of the year, it was unclear how he would fit into the teams plans next season. I had mentioned earlier this year that while Newhook didn’t ask for a trade, he was open to a fresh start. He now gets that fresh start. He’s a great guy to speak to in the locker room, so I wish him well. He’s still got plenty of time to turn it around.
Montreal’s GM, Kent Hughes, used to represent Newhook as an agent.
Now the question remains – do the Avalanche keep all these draft picks? I have a very hard time seeing them making all of these selections. They are looking to win now, and they’ve got the draft capital to make some moves. They also have plenty of roster spots to fill, so another trade seems like it could be on the horizon.
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