Of all the brand new gamers the Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired over the past week, I’m most intrigued by Alexander Kerfoot. In reality, I knew little or no about him earlier than he was included as a part of the commerce between the Maple Leafs and the Colorado Avalanche. Moreover, as a hockey card collector, I’m certain I don’t also have a single card of him.
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So, who’s he? And, what may Maple Leafs followers count on
from him through the season?
Who Is Alexander Kerfoot?
What we all know by studying his background is that Kerfoot is a middle, who’ll be 25 years previous on Aug. 11, and who was born in Vancouver. He was drafted in Spherical No. 5 of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft (150th total) by the New Jersey Devils, however he didn’t signal with them. He’s on the smaller aspect, at 5-foot-10 and 175 kilos, and his first season with the Maple Leafs will probably be his third season total.
San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones blocks a shot by former Colorado Avalanche heart Alexander Kerfoot. (AP Photograph/Jeff Chiu)
Kerfoot isn’t a family identify, and he is likely to be new to Maple Leafs followers. Though Avalanche common supervisor Joe Sakic stated a lot about Tyson Barrie (the right-shot defenseman who got here to the Maple Leafs for Nazem Kadri), he revealed little about Kerfoot, solely saying: “We want to thank Alexander for his two seasons, as he helped our turnaround in making the playoffs the final two years.” Actually, that doesn’t say a lot. Clearly, Barrie was the main focus of the commerce for each the Maple Leafs and the Avalanche.
Time at Harvard
Earlier than becoming a member of the Avalanche, Kerfoot performed two seasons with the Coquitlam Categorical of the British Columbia Hockey League, then went to Harvard College and performed 4 seasons with the NCAA’s Harvard Crimson. He was the group’s co-captain throughout his senior 12 months and a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award in 2016-17. He additionally earned NCAA (East) Second Group All-American, ECAC Hockey First Group, All-Ivy League First Group, and New England D-I All-Star recognition.
Maybe extra importantly, he additionally helped his group win the Jap School Athletic Convention (ECAC) Championship. It was the primary NCAA Frozen 4 for the Crimson for the reason that 12 months Kerfoot was born (1994). In 121 profession NCAA video games, he recorded 123 factors (36 targets and 87 assists).
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Throughout a 2017 interview with the Colorado Avalanche, he was requested about his time at Harvard. He famous,
“It was nice. I actually don’t have something however good issues to say about Harvard, the varsity and the hockey program there. If I had any recommendation to present to anybody going to highschool proper now, going via that course of, I’d inform them to go there. They’re competing nationally year-to-year proper now. They’ve nice amenities, nice program, nice coaches and on high of that you’re getting the training at Harvard. So, it’s fairly particular.”
Former Colorado Avalanche heart Alexander Kerfoot and Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad (AP Photograph/Wilfredo Lee)
Kerfoot outlined his largest takeaway from his school expertise. “Truthfully, I’d say it’s away from the rink. Simply the individuals that you simply meet there. It’s a reasonably particular place to go to highschool. Simply speaking to individuals in lessons, there are a variety of particular individuals and actually clever those that go to that college.”
Drafted, however Not Signed by the New Jersey Devils
Curiously, though he was drafted by the Devils, Kerfoot exercised his proper to not signal with them and returned to Harvard to finish his diploma. Because of this, he turned a free agent and was free to signal anyplace he selected. Clearly, he selected the Avalanche and performed two seasons with them, scoring 43 factors in 79 video games through the 2017-18 season and 42 factors in 78 video games in 2018-19. He scored 5 factors in 18 profession playoff video games.
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Earlier than he signed with the Avalanche, individuals anticipated Kerfoot to return house to Vancouver and signal with the Canucks. Nevertheless, though he was from North Vancouver and his father Greg is a majority proprietor of the Vancouver Whitecaps, on the time the Canucks had been loaded at heart and it regarded as if he would head to the Utica Comets, so he regarded for different choices. The Avalanche had been .
Different Fascinating Issues About Kerfoot
Throughout a 2017 interview with Kerfoot, he was requested about his life exterior of hockey. He famous that his favourite music was nation. If he weren’t an NHL participant, he’d most likely be doing one thing together with his enterprise diploma from Harvard. And his all-time favourite film was Marriage ceremony Crashers. He likes comedy.
Former Colorado Avalanche Alexander Kerfoot and former San Jose Shark Joonas Donskoi (AP Photograph/David Zalubowski)
Kerfoot on the Ice
Kerfoot’s a talented ahead who’s artful with the puck and has “elite processing skills” (which suggests he’s clever, one thing one may count on of a Harvard grad), with terrific imaginative and prescient. He doesn’t have blistering pace, however he’s elusive, shifty, and slips round defenders.
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Barrie, who was traded with Kerfoot, was effusive about his teammate. “He’s an amazing child, good child, and he’s an amazing playmaker.” He added, “I believe you guys are actually going to like him. I used to be actually joyful to see him include me. He’s going to be a great participant on this league for lots of years.”
Not stopping there, Barrie added, “He’s received among the finest imaginative and prescient I’ve ever performed with, so he’s a sneaky participant.”
The numbers counsel potential progress for this younger, third-year participant. Kerfoot had 34 targets and 85 factors in his first two NHL seasons, and he’s good at each ends of the ice. He’s nice within the faceoff circle (rating 12th within the NHL at 56 %, amongst gamers who took over 400 attracts through the 2018-19 season).
Lastly, he’s a powerful defensive participant. Maybe the Maple Leafs have a future Selke Trophy winner (the annual award given to the NHL ahead who demonstrates probably the most defensive talent). Perhaps Kerfoot can flip the third line into a real shutdown line.
What Maple Leafs Followers May
Look Ahead To
In Kerfoot, the Maple Leafs have acquired a younger ahead with offensive potential, however who’s already adept on the defensive finish. Kerfoot has the popularity of being clever with nice imaginative and prescient and is a participant who makes everybody he performs with higher.
I consider common supervisor Kyle Dubas made an astute commerce. He traded third-line heart Kadri nearly straight-up for top-pair, right-shot, puck-moving defenseman Barrie, received the Avalanche to pay half of Barrie’s wage, and received Kerfoot as a throw-in.
When Kadri left the group, he was in his prime; when Kerfoot begins subsequent season he’ll solely be beginning to attain his prime. In 2010-11 and 2011-12, Kadri’s first seasons with the Maple Leafs, he scored solely eight targets. Previous to Kerfoot’s third season, he’s already scored 34.
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Clearly, the circumstances had been completely different. Kadri grew up taking part in for the Maple Leafs whereas Kerfoot grew up taking part in at Harvard and was properly seasoned when he started his NHL profession.
That stated, count on Kerfoot to enhance this season. I, for one, can’t wait to see how he performs with the elite forwards the Maple Leafs can ice. One factor I’ll wager: Kerfoot gained’t get suspended through the playoffs.