A Colorado journalist reveals major concerns about Alex Newhook and it's causing quite a stir

Published July 12, 2023 at 11:17
Yesterday marked the first media bath for the Montreal Canadiens' new acquisition, Alex Newhook. After signing a contract extension with the club during the day, the 22-year-old forward held a press conference to comment on various interesting topics.

Among the many questions asked of him, one of his responses caught attention all the way to Colorado, as he mentioned having been frustrated by the lack of opportunity on several occasions with his former club.

"Alex Newhook says he has a lot more to give than what he has shown in the past with the Avalanche. Newhook says he was sometimes frustrated in Colorado when he felt underused and didn't have a lot of opportunities."

- Via Priyanta Emrith

In relation to this statement from the new number 15 of the Habs, a journalist from Colorado responded with a concerning comment about him:

"Newhook says he didn't get many opportunities in Colorado?

We flat out gave him the keys to run the second line and he couldn't take advantage of it." - Drew Livingston

However, the journalist's words must be put into perspective as there are several elements to consider.

Firstly, it was only Newhook's second season in the NHL. The sophomore slump is a factor that is very common among young professionals; it doesn't make him a bad player.

Furthermore, he was placed on the second line mainly during the first games of the season. However, the Avalanche had just won the Stanley Cup, and even for good league veterans, getting off to a fast start after winning a championship is extremely difficult.

Also, the Avalanche suffered from heavy injuries early last season. Captain Gabriel Landeskog missed the entire last season and Valeri Nichuschkin was out for several weeks. These are two big pieces of the top-6 who were absent.

There was therefore a serious lack of depth on the second unit, which had to be assumed by a 21-year-old. Even an experienced player would have had difficulty performing under these conditions.

In the end, during the last year, Newhook's average ice time was limited to 13 minutes and 57 seconds; this is extremely little to make a case for oneself, even if he found himself on the second line on a few occasions during the season.

To give you an idea, the Canadiens fans were criticizing the little playing time of Juraj Slafkovsky last year, who had little opportunity to prove himself to many. Yet, the Slovakian got an average of 12 minutes and 12 seconds of ice time, just over a minute less than Newhook.

All this to say that Newhook's last season was far from optimal for him, and with his arrival in Montreal under the guidance of a coach like Martin St-Louis, he will have a full opportunity to bloom in an environment conducive to his development.

Credit: HabsetLNH.com
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