The Montreal Canadiens have taken care of the last pressing issue facing the team as they head into the dog days of summer.
General manager Kent Hughes has announced the Canadiens have come to terms with forward Alex Newhook on a four-year contract extension. Newhook will earn an annual average value of $2.9 million throughout the duration of his new deal.
It’s a great value deal for the team, seeing as most comparable contracts signed by players of Newhook’s ilk after their entry-level contracts expire usually end up costing teams a little more when it comes to the overall salary cap percentage.
Newhook will be a restricted-free agent upon the conclusion of the contract.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) July 11, 2023
It remains to be seen if the Canadiens intend on using Newhook as a centre, his natural position, or on the wing, an area in which the team could stand to improve its overall skill level and depth.
The speedy player possesses a healthy amount of shooting talent and like Kirby Dach before him, he will be looking to re-invigorate his career by joining a team that will be able to offer him more opportunities in situations that are conducive to thriving.
The 22-year-old was acquired from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for the 31st (Mikhail Gulyayev, Colorado) and 37th overall (Ethan Gauthier, Tampa Bay) picks at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. The Avalanche quickly re-purposed the 37th overall pick by sending it to the Tamba Bay Lightning in exchange for restricted free agent Ross Colton.
Newhook, a Newfoundland native, was originally chosen with the 16th overall pick in the 2019 Draft. He has scored 27 goals and 39 assists in 159 career games, spending the majority of his time as a middle-roster player for the Avalanche. Newhook is coming off a career-best season in terms of goals, having scored 14 goals in 82 games last year.
The Canadiens will now look to finalize contract details with their remaining free agents. As it stands, only Jesse Ylonen, Nicolas Beaudin, and Lucas Condotta, all of whom are restricted free agents that spent significant time in the AHL last season, will require new contracts before the start of the 2023-24 season.
All Montreal Canadiens and Alex Newhook salary cap information via CapFriendly.