7th ranked U24 Habs player - Alex Newhook

Alex Newhook impressed with his speed and became a staple on the number one power play after Sean Monahan was traded.
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

For the month of May, aside from the NHL Draft lottery, there isn’t much going on. So here at A Winning Habit, I’ve decided to rank the 24 best Canadiens under 24 years old. I opted to rank players that are closest to the NHL, so aside from David Reinbacher, there are no 2023 Draftees. 

So, without further ado, let’s go ahead with the 7th best player, in my opinion, Alex Newhook.

Alex Newhook came out of a frustrating situation in Colorado, he needed some time to develop and the Avalanche had sky-high expectations. If Newhook was unable to grab the second-line centre role and run with it, then he would be more valuable in a trade. Avalanche general manager and hockey hall of famer Joe Sakic decided that Kent Hughes's trade offer was too tantalizing to pass on.

Kent Hughes traded the Canadiens' 2023 31st and 37th pick and defenseman Gianni Fairbrother to the Avalanche in exchange for Newhook. There are no guarantees with those picks and Newhook has established that he is an NHL player, but it was a significant trade package. So, to say that Newhook's debut season with the Canadiens was highly anticipated would be an understatement.

Newhook's debut season with the Canadiens saw him post career bests in goals with 15, points with 34 and he was one assist shy of matching his career high from the previous year of 20. He achieved these feats in just 55 games due to a high ankle sprain. Despite playing his lowest total of games since the 2021-22 season, Newhook showed much promise.

The excitement for next year is quite high and expectations are that he will continue to grow in an upward trajectory. If he can play with players who are equally as skilled as he is or better, then there is reason to believe that he has room to grow his floor potential and increase his ceiling. Newhook's speed and passing ability are problematic for other teams to defend and he has shown that his shot is a real threat.

Newhook has plenty of talent, but given the fact that he is still developing, putting him with players to bring out the best in him is crucial. I liked the idea of him and Joshua Roy together and that could be something that the Canadiens continue trying. But giving the pair a true centre with the talent to blend with them could set the two up for a brilliant season.

Newhook is ranked as the 7th-best under-24 player and I think this is as high as he will climb, because of the players that will be looking for their spot. But he will be an important part of the Canadiens' success, both in the short and long term.