Colorado Avalanche: What They Miss with Alexander Kerfoot Out

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 5: Alexander Kerfoot
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 5: Alexander Kerfoot /

Colorado Avalanche rookie Alexander Kerfoot has missed three games. His deficit has been felt by the team.

The Colorado Avalanche have been without their top rookie, Alexander Kerfoot, since Decemebr 11, when he took an Erik Johnson slap shot to the foot. He’s not missed three games — and the team has missed him.

Here’s what exactly the Avalanche miss without Kerfoot on the ice.

Top-Scoring Rookie for the Team

Until Tyson Barrie earned an assists on one of Nathan MacKinnon’s goals in the game against the Florida Panthers, Kerfoot was third on the entire team with 21 points (9 goals, 12 assists.) He’s still tied for third on the team for goals. (After the score-fest against the Tampa Bay Lightning, both Barrie and Gabriel Landeskog have surpassed Kerfoot in points.)

And, he’s still a rookie. He is, in fact, the top scoring rookie on a team that includes five rookies at the moment. He’s doing better in scoring than his fellow forward rookies — and roommates — J.T. Compher (10 points) and Tyson Jost (4 points).

It doesn’t hurt that Alexander Kerfoot has a ridiculously high shooting percentage — 30 percent, to be exact. He doesn’t take a lot of shots — he averages about one a game — but it’s nice that the ones he does take have such a high chance of going in.

Ugly Goals

As noted above, Alexander Kerfoot has nine goals on the season already. Three of those goals were deflections. At least two of those goals were deflections off his body. That includes his first-ever NHL goal, which he insists went off his leg:

Avalanche announcer Alexis Perry thinks like I do — it went off his, well, backside.

In any case, I’m not saying Kerfoot can make a career out of deflecting pucks into the net. However, with a team that relies too much on pretty plays, it’s good for everyone to see that ugly goals count, too.

Power Play

More from Mile High Sticking

I think one area that the Colorado Avalanche really miss Alexander Kerfoot is on the power play. He’s usually on the second unit with Carl Soderberg, J.T. Compher, Sven Andrighetto and either Samuel Girard or Erik Johnson as quarterback. Nonetheless, he’s fifth on the team for power play time on the ice with an average of 3:25.

Three of Kerfoot’s nine goals came on the power play, and he has an additional seven power play assists.

Unique Skill Set

Naturally, every NHL player brings a unique skill set to the ice. For Alexander Kerfoot, a large part of his skill set revolves around his being intelligent. This doesn’t necessarily have to do with his being a Harvard grad, but rather the fact that he sees the ice so well. And though he’s still a rookie who makes rookie mistakes, he’s usually very smart with the puck.

There’s also an element of fearlessness about him. He’s not afraid to get in the dirty areas in front of the net. He was the first one to check Matt Duchene when the latter skated up against the Avalanche for the first time. (I’m not saying I applaud that move, but it does show a fearlessness since they’d been linemates just a few days before.) Kerfoot was also the only Avs player to hit legend Jaromir Jagr when the Calgary Flames came to town. (Again, I don’t condone that, especially since Jagr reacted by stealing the puck from the young pup and deking past him for a breakaway.)

Next: All About Landeskog's 2nd NHL Hat Trick

Colorado Avalanche rookie forward Alexander Kerfoot is still considered day-to-day. Let’s hope his day for returning is against the Pittsburgh Penguins, which would be fitting.