AVALANCHE

Avs dump Alex Newhook for picks after he couldn’t fill needed void

Jun 27, 2023, 12:29 PM | Updated: 12:38 pm

Alex Newhook had a chance to replace the void left last summer when Nazem Kadri departed for Calgary but the 22-year-old didn’t do what was needed.

So the Colorado Avalanche moved on, and Ryan Johansen is now set to fill in as the second-line center after a trade sent the veteran to Denver days ago. Newhook became expendable, and Colorado sent him to the Montreal Canadiens for a first-round selection for 31st overall, and a second-round pick (37th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft which begins on Wednesday. The Avs also picked up defenseman Gianni Fairbrother in exchange for Newhook.

Newhook was a first-rounder picked by the Avs in 2019. He just finished his second full NHL season, tallying 33 points in 72 games during Colorado’s Cup-winning year then another 30 points this past season. In his career, Newhook added seven points in 27 postseason contests.

Fairbrother, 22, missed the 2022-23 season due to a knee injury. He was Montreal’s third-round pick (77th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft. The 6-foot, 204-pound blueliner made his professional debut with the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League at the end of the 2020-21 campaign and spent his first full AHL season with Laval in 2021-22.

The Avalanche have two picks in the first round (No. 27 and 31), one in the second round (No. 37), as well as one in the fifth (No. 155), sixth (No. 187) and seventh (No. 219) rounds.

The move may also open up some room for J.T. Compher who is expected to be a coveted free agent. Compher was also one of the options to be a Kadri replacement and he was much better with 52 points over 82 games. Kadri was awesome for the Avs, becoming an All-Star before leaving for the Flames, and that scoring depth, even with missing some of the postseason, put Colorado over the top.

Colorado still has some work to do to get back to their cup-winning ways of two seasons ago, after a down year and first-round exit this summer. The Avs also have some extra wiggle room in roster-building with Gabriel Landeskog expected to miss the entire season.

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