Colorado Avalanche: All About Forward JT Compher

DETROIT, MI - MARCH 18: J.T. Compher
DETROIT, MI - MARCH 18: J.T. Compher /

Colorado Avalanche forward JT Compher looks good to help the team during their rebuild, adding versatility and responsible play along with a scoring touch.

The Colorado Avalanche are in a full rebuild. As part of that rebuild, they’re looking to a youth movement to carry them forward.

Part of that youth movement is 22-year-old forward J.T. Compher. He came to the organization in 2015. He spent most of last season in the AHL, but he has already recorded NHL experience — including scoring.

Compher is entering the second year of his entry-level contract, which carries a $925,000 cap hit.

JT Compher Biography

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Joseph Taylor Compher is from Northbrook, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He’s the eldest child of Bob and Valerie Compher, having two younger sisters named Morgan and Jesse.

Compher was part of the prestigious US National Development Team Program. He joined as a 16-year-old, moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan to take part. In his time with the program, he played 53 regular season games (20 goals, 31 assists) and 19 international games (9 goals, 14 assists) to help both the U-17 and U-18 team win silver and the U-18 team win gold.

It almost didn’t come to pass. When Compher was set to leave for Ann Arbor, his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His family was in turmoil, and JT was tempted to stay behind and help out.

However, according to Max Preps, his mom had this reaction: “I looked at him and said, ‘I love you so much, but you‘ve got to go’.”

When Compher returned to town for a game with his team, the Comphers and his high school coach turned it into a fund raiser for prostate cancer awareness.

Back to hockey, JT Compher was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres at #35 in 2013. He had already committed to playing for the University of Michigan, where he spent the next three years. He earned many hockey honors in that time, including being named Big Ten Star of the Week several times. He also made their version of the All Star Team twice.

While Compher was still playing college hockey, Buffalo traded his rights to the Colorado Avalanche as part of the Ryan O’Reilly trade. JT signed his entry-level contract with Colorado on April 25, 2016.

JT Compher Playing Style

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JT compher is a classic two-way forward. He’s known for being responsible both in the offensive zone and defensive zone — plays all 220 feet, in other words.

A lot of that comes from Compher’s skating ability. He’s strong and agile on skates. And he’s got speed. He uses that speed to go from the backcheck to the forecheck.

Leadership is strong in Compher, too. He’s a fierce competitor who plays with a lot of energy. He’s all about the work ethic. With that goes his versatility, too — he can play wing or center.

JT Compher and the Colorado Avalanche

JT Compher attended the Colorado Avalanche’s rookie and training camp last year. At the conclusion of preseason, though, he started with the San Antonio Rampage. He tore it up in the AHL, leading the Rampage with 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) in 41 games. (As they continued playing, three more players surpassed that total.)

Compher got his first NHL call-up on March 1, 2017, as part of the team’s youth movement. He made his NHL debut against the Ottawa Senators, centering the third line with Matthew Nieto and Blake Comeau on his wings.

Eight games later, he earned his first NHL goal:

Related Story: JT Compher's 1st Goal

JT Compher is attending rookie training camp on September 8 before flying to California to represent the Avs in the 2017 rookie showcase. (He participated last year, too.) He’ll attend the training camp that takes place September 15 and 16 and is certain to participate in the Burgundy and White Game.

I’m pretty sure Compher will play in all of the Colorado Avalanche’s preseason games. I’m also pretty sure he should make the opening night roster.

I like Compher centering a third scoring line, perhaps with Matt Nieto, Nail Jakupov or Sven Andrighetto as potential wingers. As we saw in his first NHL goal, he looks NHL ready. He played a total of 21 games with the Avs, and recorded three goals and three assists on a team spiraling into the abyss.

Next: All About Dom Toninato

The Colorado Avalanche need renewed energy. JT Compher is one of the young players who can provide it.