Earlier today, the Colorado Avalanche made it official that they had signed Harvard standout Alexander Kerfoot to a two-year entry level contract. The former New Jersey Devils prospect became an unrestricted free agent last week and chose the Avs after strongly considering offers from the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks.
Excited and honoured to join a tremendous organization. Can't wait to get started! https://t.co/wDGqFxbkkx— Alexander Kerfoot (@Kerfy14) August 24, 2017
This afternoon, Kerfoot went on TSN1040 radio to discuss the free agency process and what he expects now that he is a member of the Avalanche. When talking about choosing a team, Kerfoot made it very clear that he was looking for the quickest path to the NHL.
“The first thing I was looking at was opportunity. I’m a 23- year-old guy now coming out of four years in college. I know I have a lot of work to do as a player, but I want to go somewhere where I think that I have an opportunity to play. That kind of narrowed my list down from the start.”
It’s no surprise that Kerfoot was considering teams near the bottom of the standings like Colorado and Vancouver. He wants to be an NHLer right away, and signing with a bad team is the best way to accomplish that. So why the Avs over his home town Canucks?
“I just felt really comfortable with the Avalanche organization in general and with Sakic and Bednar. I’m excited about joining their young group of guys and going into camp this year and competing for a spot.”
Not only did Kerfoot feel comfortable with Sakic and Bednar, it sounds as though he’s pretty bullish on the future of this team.
“I definitely don’t think it’s any secret that they didn’t have the best year last year, but to be honest, if you look at their roster, you look at the guys they’ve got on their team, they have a lot of highly-skilled players and a lot of room to grow and a lot of upside there in Colorado. But even more so than that, I’m coming in as a young guy. I know that I’m not turning the franchise around anytime this year. I’m looking for an opportunity to play, and somewhere where I think there’s good people to work with and good people to be around. I felt like I had that in Colorado.”
So what are the Avs getting in Kerfoot? He is a smart player that forechecks hard and would likely fit into a middle-6 winger role for the Avs in camp.
“I think that my strengths in my game are my competitiveness and my hockey sense, I think that I’m a pretty good playmaker, but I play a 200-foot game. I still have a lot to work on. I can always work on my skating. My first couple of steps I can definitely improve upon. But apart from that, shots – my shot, especially my one-timer, I can improve on that. Faceoffs are something I struggled with in college and I know that a lot of guys, a lot of centermen especially, struggle with that. So I’ve been working on that quite a bit this summer.”
When he chose the team that finished dead last a year ago, many onlookers believed that maybe Joe Sakic had promised him a roster spot right out of camp. That doesn’t seem to be the case, but Kerfoot is definitely confident in his ability to be an NHL player sooner rather than later.
“If I don’t make the team then it’s not like I’m just going to give up on my career. But at the same time, I’m going into Colorado expecting to make the team. I think that I’m confident in my abilities and I think that I have a good shot to make their roster. I’m excited to go in and be a part of their group. I know that I still have a lot to work on and a lot to learn when it comes to developing as a hockey player, but I think I have a good chance to make the team this year.”
He became an unrestricted free agent only 9 days ago, and they were likely some of the most stressful days of his young life. Now it’s time for Alexander Kerfoot to get to work and prove that it was the right decision.
“It was a difficult process, but ultimately I’m happy with Colorado.”