According to multiple reports, the Colorado Avalanche have agreed to trade Alex Newhook to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for draft picks. Members of the MHS staff have you covered with instant reaction to the news! 

Aarif Deen

Alex Newhook didn’t do anything wrong. It often takes an offensive player longer than two years to reach their potential. But the Avalanche choosing to flip Newhook to Montreal for the 31st and 37th overall picks is the latest casualty of a flat cap world and Colorado’s window to compete for a Stanley Cup.

On an entry-level deal, it made sense to keep Newhook around. But as a restricted free agent looking for a bigger cap hit, the Avs just can’t afford to wait for him to have a breakout season while taking up a larger portion of their cap on the third line. It’s a tough business, but it’s safe to say Newhook’s future in Colorado was dependent on him growing into a second-line center in 2022-23. And that just didn’t happen.

He’s still young and full of potential. And as we saw with Montreal’s trade for Kirby Dach last summer, this change will likely bode well for Newhook. I’m rooting for him and I know he’s going to do great things. But MacFarland has bigger plans in mind. This is just the latest of a bevy of moves expected from the Avs’ front office between now and the start of training camp in the fall.

J.J. Jerez

Newhook is one of my favorite people to talk to in the locker room. He’s always generous with his time and willing to break down his own game, even if it means calling himself out. But I try to not let that cloud my judgment of players in terms of their on-ice production. I hope he takes that next step in Montreal — and I’m willing to bet he does — but it just wasn’t going to happen here. Not on a team as aggressive as the Avs are in terms of pushing for another Stanley Cup. He had a big opportunity to step up last season and couldn’t do it. And that’s probably why Colorado is moving on.

This trade also makes the draft a lot more exciting to watch. The Avs now hold picks No. 27, 31 and 37. I think they’ll draft some guys to replenish a poor prospect pool, but I also wonder if they use one or two of those picks to bring in a more established forward. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Listen to “Alex Newhook Traded To Montreal” on Spreaker.

Nate Lundy

Despite a championship in the recent rear view mirror, I like that the team is not satisfied to simply stand pat. Investing in the now (Johansen) is just as important as drafting future contributors. The moves in the last week show this team is still active and growing.

Shawn Drotar

Dealing Newhook for draft picks can be safely analyzed from different angles:

1) An admission from the Avalanche that Newhook would never develop into the second-line star that they envisioned.  

2) An understanding that fellow restricted free agent Bowen Byram had become a vastly superior player, and signing himto a long-term deal became a much higher priority.

3) An acceptance that — given Gabriel Landeskog’s devastating injury and the uncertain future following Valeri Nichushkin’s mysterious circumstances — the team is likely to take a step backwards this season, making restocking their system absolutely necessary.

In truth, it is all these things — and the Avalanche organization should be commended for its sober self-awareness in the face of multiple, frustrating developments.