ENGLEWOOD - The Colorado Avalanche lost veterans in the offseason to trades, free agency and the expansion draft. Forward Alex Newhook is toward the top of the list of replacements from within.
Newhook, 20, appeared in six Avalanche regular-season games and eight playoff games after winning World Juniors silver and a playoff run with Boston College. He debuted with the Colorado Eagles (AHL) on April 13 and the Avalanche on May 5, scoring his first career goal in Game 3 of the playoffs’ first round against the St. Louis Blues.
“I think having a bit of experience definitely helps,” Newhook said after Day 2 of the Avalanche’s development camp, where he’s playing alongside many who haven't reached the NHL yet.
“I know where I have to be to get there and stay there.”
Newhook, the 16th overall pick in the 2019 draft, said he headed home to Newfoundland for about a month after the season ended and then joined a group in Boston.
“Try to stay explosive,” Newhook said. “That's a big focus for me and obviously a big part of my game.
“Obviously my goal is to make the opening roster. I think that’s my mindset, even at rookie camp. … Try to make an impression and try to establish myself early. Help the younger guys as well in their first camps, even though it’s kind of mine too.”
Newhook wore a navy blue practice jersey Monday alongside 2021 first-rounder Oskar Olausson and Sampo Ranta, who also made the jump from college hockey late last season. They’ve been standouts the past two days in Englewood as Colorado prospects prepare for the 2021 Rookie Faceoff Tournament on Friday to Monday in Arizona.
“He's a very good player, a good guy,” Olausson said of Newhook. “It’s nice to compete with him on the ice.”