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Newhook Adds Name to Rare List of Stanley Cup Champs from Newfoundland

Alex Newhook is a bright piece of Colorado's future, and he's already off to an incredible start. He now joins a small group of NHLers from Newfoundland to bring the Cup back to the Rock.
Alex Newhook

TAMPA - Before Sunday night, just two players from all of Newfoundland -- Michael Ryder and Daniel Cleary -- managed to take Lord Stanley's mug to the Rock.

Add Alex Newhook to the club.

"It's coming home again!" he said minutes after lifting the Cup for the first time in his short career.

For context, Newhook was barely four months old when Avalanche GM Joe Sakic won the Stanley Cup as a player during Colorado's last Cup run. Only Bowen Byram -- who was born three days after the Avs won that year in 2001 -- is younger on this championship squad.

Newhook was seven when Clearly won the Cup in 2008 with Detroit and 10 when Ryder did it with Boston in 2011. So it's been a while since somebody brought the Cup to arguably one of Canada's most beautiful provinces, and well before Newhook was on the path to becoming one of the best young forwards in the Avalanche system.

Newhook played all six games of the Cup final as a rookie and 12 games total after spending 71 games with the big club during the regular season. While he didn't get a ton of ice time in the final, he showed he was capable of playing tough matchups and showed promising signs that he'll be a key fixture for the Avalanche moving forward.

And that journey all started with humble beginnings with a city with a small hockey footprint that only continues to grow thanks to players like Newhook. 

It's been a while since Newhook played back home. He spent the 2014-15 season with the St. John's Hitmen before moving to southern Ontario to play with the famed York Simcoe Express in 2015-16. He made a one-off appearance with the OJHL's Aurora Tigers before moving out west to the Victoria Grizzlies, where he quickly became one of the most dominant players in Jr. A. Newhook had 102 points in his draft year with the Grizzlies, becoming the CJHL player of the year with one of the best draft-eligible seasons in the league had seen in decades.

Zoom to his first year of college with Boston and the success was immediate. He won the Hockey East championship and was the top collegiate rookie with 42 points in 34 games, only to record 16 points in a shortened 2020-21 season. He added a World Junior Championship silver medal to his credit in a bottom-six role with Canada, but at that point, it was clear it wouldn't take long for him to turn pro.

He did exactly that at the end of the season, playing in eight playoff games for the Avalanche after splitting the end of the season between the NHL and AHL. He was full-time pro this season, putting up over a point-per-game with the Colorado Eagles in a stint in the minors.

There's no chance he's heading back to the AHL, though. He's here to stay, and he's already got the game's biggest prize after just one full season.

It's something so many players dream about their entire careers. Erik and Jack Johnson -- two of the most respected veterans on the Avalanche -- finally won it after nearly two decades in the league. So Newhook doesn't take his early success for granted.

"It means everything, this is everything," Newhook said. "I've worked for everything, we've all worked for it together and we did it."

Newhook's story is just getting started. With Colorado set to shed some contracts this summer with a busy off-season, and with new opportunities comes the chance to play a bigger role with the club down the line. Newhook should factor into the team's long-term plans, and, before long, it won't be long until he's a consistent scoring threat in Colorado's lineup.

But that's a story for a different day.

Over 3,100 miles separate the Rock and the Rockies, and you can't even get off Newfoundland without taking a ferry. It's as eastern as it gets in Canada with a population of just over 110,000 -- a modest decrease from the over 715,000 living in Denver, the capital of Colorado. They don't share a ton of similarities, but they now both have a claim to Alex Newhook, Stanley Cup champion.

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