Forward Alexander Kerfoot is in his rookie season with the Colorado Avalanche after signing a two-year, entry-level contract on Aug. 24. The 23-year-old left-handed shooter stands at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds and spent the last four years playing for Harvard University.
Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Kerfoot was selected in the fifth round (150th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils but decided to sign with Colorado after becoming a free agent.
After spending two-plus years with the Coquitlam Express of the British Columbia Hockey League, he spent the next four seasons on the ice for Harvard and was a co-captain of the squad during his senior campaign (2016-17). Kerfoot finished tied for the team lead in scoring last year with 45 points (16 goals, 29 assists) in 36 contests, and he helped the school reach the NCAA Frozen Four for the first time since the year he was born, 1994.
The center finished his four-year college career at Harvard with 36 goals and 87 assists for a grand total of 123 points in 121 contests.
Kerfoot sat down with ColoradoAvalanche.com to talk about his transition to the Avs and the NHL.
How long have you been playing hockey? What got you into hockey?
"I've been playing hockey since I was probably 4 or 5 years old. I grew up in Vancouver, Canada, so a lot of young kids start off playing hockey down there. My parents just put me into it, and I loved it."
What made you decide on signing with the Avalanche?
"I was primarily looking for a place that I thought I could come in and play right away. I thought there was an opportunity to come in and compete for a spot here with the Avalanche. Denver is a great city and on top of that I just felt like my conversations with Joe Sakic and Jared Bednar went really well. I am excited where they are taking this organization."
What has your initial impression been of Denver?
"It has been awesome. I was just saying the other day that I haven't met anyone that doesn't love it here. I haven't gotten out as much as I would have liked, just because we were at the hotel for a while there and I didn't have a car until recently. But a couple teammates and I moved into a place in Cherry Creek a couple days ago, and it's been great."
What has it been like playing with skilled players like Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon and Nail Yakupov?
"It has been pretty special. Everything has happened pretty fast here with me coming from college. You grow up watching some of those guys play, so it's pretty cool to play on a line with them. They're amazing players."
What was your experience like at Harvard?
"It was great. I really don't have anything but good things to say about Harvard, the school and the hockey program there. If I had any advice to give to anyone going to school right now, going through that process, I would tell them to go there. They're competing nationally year to year right now. They have great facilities, great program, great coaches and on top of that you are getting the education at Harvard. So, it's pretty special."
What was your biggest takeaway from your college years?
"Honestly, I would say it's away from the rink. Just the people that you meet there. It's a pretty special place to go to school. Just talking to people in classes, there are a lot of special people and really intelligent people that go to that school."
Who was your biggest mentor growing up?
"I would probably have to say my parents. Just what they've taught me and instilled in me from a young age. I really look up to them. They've taught me everything I know."
What is your pregame routine like?
"It's changed a little bit now since I've come here, but we get to the rink around 9 o'clock on game days. Get there, eat breakfast, get on the ice to skate around for a little bit and then do a little recovery session. I usually head home to grab a bite to eat and take a little bit of a nap before I have to get up, shower and change before heading to the rink."
What kind of music do you listen to?
"I like to listen to country music mostly."
What do you like to do in your spare time?
"Well here I haven't been doing too much, just hanging out with the guys away from the rink. I've had a couple friends come in and visit me, so that was nice. And I like to golf as well. Nathan MacKinnon has taken me out to the golf course a couple times to hit his clubs. I'm going to try to get out as much as I can."
If you weren't an NHL player, what other career would you pursue?
"Honestly if I was where I am right now in my life, I would probably be doing something with my degree from school. So, something to do with business."
What is your all-time favorite movie?
"I like Wedding Crashers, for comedy."