Colorado Avalanche: JT Compher is a Crafty, Calculating Player

DENVER, CO - MARCH 02: J.T. Compher #37 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Minnesota Wild at the Pepsi Center on March 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Wild 7-1. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - MARCH 02: J.T. Compher #37 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Minnesota Wild at the Pepsi Center on March 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Wild 7-1. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Colorado Avalanche forward JT Compher is a crafty, calculating player — which is part of the reason he’s become my favorite.

Many people see Colorado Avalanche forward J.T. Compher and think he is a quiet shy kid. However I think he is more quiet and calculating. Compher has classic RBF (resting bitch face) that some people love and some people hate. He is known to stare blankly at the opponent as if he is trying to take their soul. Colora analyst Peter McNab once called it a dead stare. Maybe that is just in his nature.

After watching a game where he just blankly stared at the opponent, my dad and I wondered if he was doing that as a smart move to draw a penalty… if he was being a jerk…. or if he just really wasn’t there in that moment. So to figure it out, I made a sign.

It was around Christmas time, so naturally I made a Christmas sign, “Skate, Skate, as fast as you can. Can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread Av!” I stuck JTs head on a  gingerbread mans body, that was wearing skates. I couldn’t tell at the game during warm ups if he liked it or hated it. So I had to bring it to practice.

I pulled out my sign and handed it to JT. He stared at it for a second then looked at me and said “Wait…. are you chirping me?”

Unsure how to respond I just said “I mean I like gingerbread men”.

He looked over at Tyson Jost (They ride to practice together a lot being roommates and all) and said “I don’t know, Josty what do you think? Is she chirping me?!”

Jost looked at the sign for a minute or two and said “Oh…. because you’re a ginger!!!!????”

Compher retorted, “Yeah, and you’re a rocket scientist!”

Yep, I found my new favorite player.

While he isn’t known for showing his emotions during games, he does know when the right time is to step in. During the season he stepped into that role a little more. He tends to keep his emotions in check very well and knows when the correct time is to make that move. Considering the amount of ice time he gets, and in what situations, he takes few penalties.. Last season he got only 20 minutes in 69 regular season games.

As the season progressed, Compher started coming out of his shell more and more, which made him my favorite more and more. His dry sense of humor started making his play more understandable for me. His calm, collected, calculating process with the puck is similar to his calm demeanor in interviews, and his calculated comebacks and remarks. His instagram comments are very sarcastic with his teammates.

Here are a couple examples of Comphy letting lose this season and having fun. As most know him and Jost are best friends so of course he is in a few of these as well. I say Josty is my spirit animal, so it’s fitting Comphy is my favorite.

The first video is my personal favorite video from this season. All a part of Avalanche 360 on Altitude.

Editor’s note: That’s one of my all-time favorite videos, and we’ll be dedicating an entire post to reviewing it.

Here’s a video in which Compher and some of the other Avs give those electric scooters a whirl:

Here are the two besties, Jost and Compher, participating in a Break the Ice event:

See, J.T. can loosen up when the situation calls for it.

More from Mile High Sticking

That said, Compher is calculated with his defense and how he carries himself. On the PK he had two goals this season. He had three game-winning goals — 2 of those were in overtime — showing he can be a clutch player we rely on in many situations. He is fifth among forwards in ice time at 16 minutes per game. He still needs to work on his faceoff %percentage. However he is second among centers with a 45.1% in the dot. 65 blocked shots in 69 games, 16 takeaways.

His calm, collected head makes it easy for coach Jared Bednar to play him in multiple situations. This season he has played in all situations and has had some nail biting final minutes under his belt. He is showing why he caught Sakic’s eye and why he was included as part of the Ryan O’Reilly trade.

Compher was the captain his Junior year at Michigan. His game is very calculating and he is great at reading the play. He is a great set up man and has more assists in his career then goals. Starting in U17 with the US national team, ending playoffs 2018 (gp416, g127, a207). As the captain of Michigan they won the Great Lakes Championship.

Next: Jost's and Compher's Bromance

I think JT Compher still has growth he can make. He did fall off the wagon a little this season, and injuries didn’t help that situation. The transition to the NHL can be challenging, but I don’t think we have seen Compher at his full potential, just glimpses of greatness.

Hopefully JT Compher will continue to grow and develop for the Colorado Avalanche. As the season went along, he got more comfortable letting his personality show. Look for him to continue to push himself to surmount the uphill battle in the NHL next season.