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Rookie Rewind: Alexander Kerfoot

The center became the 10th rookie in Avalanche history to reach the 40-point mark

by Maddie Karr / ColoradoAvalanche.com

ColoradoAvalanche.com is profiling players who just completed their rookie seasons with the organization. This installment takes a look at forward Alexander Kerfoot.

Forward Alexander Kerfoot enjoyed an impressive rookie campaign in 2017-18, finishing with 43 points (19 goals, 24 assists) in 79 games. He became the 10th rookie in the Avalanche's history, since 1995-96, to reach the 40-point mark.  

The following is a look back at Kerfoot's rookie season.  

Before the Avalanche

After spending two-plus seasons with the Coquitlam Express of the British Colombia Hockey League, Kerfoot joined Harvard University on the ice. He played four seasons (2013-17) for the Crimson and was a co-captain of the team during his senior year. With Kerfoot helping to lead the way, Harvard advanced to its first Frozen Four appearance since 1994. On Aug. 24, 2017, the 175-pound center signed a two-year contract with the Avalanche.  

Professional Debut: Oct. 5, 2017

Under the pressure of his first NHL game, Kerfoot made an immediate impact. He recorded an assist and was plus-2 rating on opening night versus the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.  

Video: Alexander Kerfoot gets ready for his NHL debut

His first NHL point came after he passed the puck to defenseman Tyson Barrie, who took a wrist shot from the right of the face-off circle to beat Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

"Unbelievable experience playing in New York and Madison Square Garden for the first time," said Kerfoot at the time. "On that goal, it was a great play by [Chris] Bigras. He gave the puck to me, drove through the middle and backed their D off and it was a completely open seam I had over there to Tyson."  

"That was a sweet dish," Barrie said of Kerfoot's pass. "His patience, it's fun to watch. I just came in late and didn't even really call for it, he just put it on my tape and I fired it as quick as I could."  

Home Opener: Oct. 11, 2017

In his first game at the Pepsi Center, Kerfoot tallied his first NHL goal by redirecting a shot by Barrie. The puck deflected off his leg and into the Boston Bruins' net during the home opener as Colorado defeated the Bruins 6-3.

"It's pretty special, especially the home opener at Pepsi Center," Kerfoot said of scoring his first NHL goal. "You get the win like that too, [It was] just a great opening night for the team."

Kerfoot skated through the low slot when the puck from a Barrie shot at the point deflected off his leg and fluttered over Boston's Tuukka Rask and into the cage.

Video: BOS@COL: Kerfoot tips in his first career goal

Although it wasn't the prettiest of goals, it is likely to be one of his most memorable.  

Resilience

On Dec. 11, Kerfoot suffered a foot injury after unintentionally getting in the way of a shot from teammate Erik Johnson forcing him to miss three contests (Dec. 12-16). He resumed playing on Dec. 18, helping the team to a 4-2 win over the Pittsburg Penguins.  

Multi-Point Efforts

Kerfoot recorded his first career multi-point game on Oct. 19 with three points (two goals, one assist) versus the St. Louis Blues.

"I think I got some pretty fortunate bounces tonight--one off the back wall and then their goalie being in the corner on the other one," he said after the contest. "I just wanted to move my feet. The coaches talked to me after the Nashville game and just said that I need to be more intense and harder on pucks and that's what I tried to do tonight."

His next multi-point performance came on Nov. 5 at the New York Islanders when he recorded the fastest two goals by an Avalanche player in 2017-18, scoring just 21 seconds apart. It was the first of three outings in a row that he had multi-point efforts in, a streak spanning from Nov. 5-11. It made him the first Avalanche rookie to register multiple points in three straight contests since Gabriel Landeskog in 2012.  

Video: COL@NYI: Kerfoot scores twice in 21 seconds

Playoff Debut

Kerfoot made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut and recorded two goals in the first-round, six-game series that resulted in a 4-2 win by Nashville.

"I was thinking about trying to make the team, try and do what I can to get in this lineup," he said when asked during the series about if he thought he would be playing playoff hockey when he signed with the team in August. "With the pieces in place I thought they had a really good chance to be a good organization down the road. I think we exceeded expectations a little bit this year."

 

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