Kent Hughes would have acquired his new second-line center by completing his trade with the Avalanche for Alex Newhook

Published September 25, 2023 at 7:57

Among the changes made by Kent Hughes during the offseason, one could say that the arrival of Alex Newhook represents his most significant personnel move.

Acquired from the Colorado Avalanche last June, the 22-year-old forward will start a new chapter of his career by donning the Canadiens' jersey, but on the eve of the team's training camp opening, it is still unknown at which position Martin St-Louis will use his new forward.

As we know, Newhook is officially listed as a center player, but looking at the other center players expected to start the season in Montreal, there might be a certain congestion with Nick Suzuki, Kirby Dach, Sean Monahan, Christian Dvorak, and Jake Evans.

That said, some of them will surely have to be moved to the wing, like, for example, Kirby Dach who might reunite with Suzuki and Cole Caufield with whom he had his best moments in 2022-2023.

Could this be what awaits Alex Newhook in his first season in Montreal?

It's possible in the short term but maybe not in the long term if we trust one of his former coaches.

As reported by Nicolas Desrosiers, from the site, Greg Cronin, who is now the head coach of the Anaheim Ducks and who coached Newhook with the Colorado Eagles in the American League, stated that Newhook's qualities at center are undeniable, and it's the position where he excels the most.

«I loved him at center, personally. He was more able to use his great speed and generate offense. That's when he's at his best.»

Cronin added that he'll need linemates who can keep up with his pace to see him succeed at center.

«I made sure to play him with guys who could keep up with his pace. Alex skates extremely fast so if he's paired with players who can keep up with him, both in terms of speed and execution, the line will naturally generate a lot of offense.»

He then affirmed that the Canadiens' newcomer has everything it takes to become a top 6 forward in the NHL and this could mean he might become the second center for the CH in the coming years.

«I really think he has what it takes to produce on an NHL top 6. He has a lot of talent!»

These are encouraging words from the Ducks' coach, and even if we might expect to see Newhook start the season on the wing, Martin St-Louis and Kent Hughes will ensure to exploit his talent to the fullest because, after all, the latter paid a hefty price to the Avalanche for his acquisition.

September 25   |   250 answers
Kent Hughes would have acquired his new second-line center by completing his trade with the Avalanche for Alex Newhook

Where do you see Alex Newhook?

Second center11646.4 %
First center114.4 %
Third center7028 %
On the Wing5321.2 %
Latest 10 stories