Alex Kerfoot, the Harvard Crimson forward that ultimately opted against inking a deal with the New Jersey Devils at the end of the NCAA career, has finally chosen a landing spot.
After hitting the free agent market on August 15th, Kerfoot made his final decision on Wednesday, heading to the Colorado Avalanche per a report from Darren Dreger:
Alex Kerfoot has decided on Colorado.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) August 23, 2017
Drafted 150th overall by the Devils in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Kerfoot was being courted by a number of teams leading up to the moment it was confirmed he was heading to Denver. The New York Rangers and Islanders both, along with the San Jose Sharks and his native Vancouver, were reportedly all still vying for his services as late as yesterday afternoon.
Dreger suggests that Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic made a hard pitch, though - and sure enough, it seems that whatever he said was too good to turn down.
Who is Alex Kerfoot?
Although statistically listed as a bit undersized - the 23-year-old center stands at just 5-foot-10 and 175 lbs - Kerfoot can best be described as a late bloomer and incredibly hard worker.
After failing to even hit the 10-goal mark in any of his first three collegiate seasons, the West Vancouver native put up his best season to date as a senior and team captain in the 2016-17 campaign. He walked away from that final year with 16 goals - doubling his previous career high from his freshman and sophomore campaigns - and 45 points, a far cry from the 14 points he debuted in the NCAA with.
For the Avalanche, he’s an easy pickup. The team still hasn’t confirmed what’s going to happen to Matt Duchene, and there’s no guarantee that anyone is truly safe from a trade. If Duchene (or someone else) gets moved out, Kerfoot gets a fast track to significant ice time, given Colorado’s weak depth chart. Even if he doesn’t get moved, the forward depth for the Avalanche remains concerning; at the very worst, he’s got a chance to be an NHL player from the get-go.
There’s no guarantee that Kerfoot will pan out into anything incredible, but he’s a low-risk buy-in with four years of collegiate experience already. It’s an easy sell for the Avalanche, who can always release him as a free agent when his entry-level deal is up in two years.