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Canadiens draft pick for Avalanche forward Alex Newhawk

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The Canadiens are among two first-round draft picks in the NHL on Wednesday in Nashville (7 p.m., SN, TVA Sports).

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They also no longer have a second round pick.

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That’s because Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes traded the 31st and 37th overall picks — along with defenseman Gianni Verferer — to the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday in exchange for broadcast rights to Alex Newhawk, who can play midfield and on the left wing.

The Canadiens acquired the 31st pick from Florida in a trade that sent defenseman Ben Chiarotte to the Panthers on March 16, 2022.

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Newhook, 22, was selected by the Avalanche in the first round (16th overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft after posting an overall record of 38-64-102 in 53 games with the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL this 2018-19 season. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound player played two seasons at Boston College before making his NHL debut.

The Canadiens now have three players selected in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft: Kirby Dash (Chicago’s 3rd), Cole Cofield (15th) and Newhawk (16th).

In 82 games last season with the Avalanche, Newhook went 14-16-30 overall and also recorded plus/minus difference while averaging 13:57 ice time and winning 41.4% of his tackles. In a 159-game NHL career, St. John’s, NL, has posted a record of 27-39-66. He was part of the Avalanche team that won the Stanley Cup in 2022, collecting four assists in 12 playoff games.

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Newhook can become a restricted free agent on July 1, three-year contract, worth $4.475 million, the maximum annual salary is $908,333.

The Canadiens still have the No. 5 pick overall in Wednesday’s draft, along with a third-round pick, three fourth-round picks, two fifth-round picks, and one selection each from the sixth and seventh rounds.

Hughes clearly hopes Canadian coach Martin St. Louis can have a similar impact on the Newhawks as he did on Dash, who was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in a trade during last year’s draft, and on Caulfield. The 22-year-old Dutchman went 14-24-38 in 58 games last season with the Canadiens, posting career highs in goals, assists and points after three disappointing seasons in Chicago. Coffield, also 22, has scored 48 goals in 83 games since St. Louis took over from Dominique Ducharme.

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Plus, being a former first-round draft pick at 22, Hughes has a much better idea of ​​what he’s getting at Newhook than he could with the No. 31 and/or No. 37 picks. Becoming a Canadian coach, Hughes was a longtime player agent. One of the players represented by Hughes was Newhook.

The Canadiens selected Fairbrother in the third round (77th overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft. He has not played in the NHL.



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