When forward Alexander Kerfoot signed with the Avalanche in the summer of 2017, he didn’t realize the whirlwind of changes that would follow over the next two years. Kerfoot, who elected to become an unrestricted free agent after playing four years of NCAA hockey at Harvard University, moved in with fellow Avs rookies Tyson Jost and J.T. Compher.
And over the next two seasons, the trio shared an ample amount of memories together.
“It was really fun playing with him,” Compher said. “Me and Tyson (Jost) got to know him really well living with him obviously, we had a great time. It should be fun on Saturday.”
Kerfoot played two seasons with the Avalanche, often in a top-six role. He recorded 43 points in his rookie season and 42 in 2018-19. He was part of Colorado’s two straight playoff appearances, something it hadn’t accomplished in over a decade.
But after the Avalanche’s 2019 playoff run came to an end in a hard-fought Game 7 against the San Jose Sharks in the second round, Kerfoot’s career with the Avs ended with it.
Kerfoot was involved in a blockbuster deal on July 1st, as he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs with longtime Colorado defenseman Tyson Barrie and a 6th round pick in exchange for forward Nazem Kadri, defenseman Calle Rosen and a 3rd round pick. He later signed a four-year deal to remain a piece of Toronto’s secondary scoring for the foreseeable future.
“It’s part of the business, trades happen,” Compher said. “Barrie was a big part of this franchise for a long time and Kerfoot for two years.”
Kerfoot returned to the lineup for the Maple Leafs on Thursday after missing three games with an injury. The former Av has five goals and three assists in 21 games and was elevated to the second line in Toronto’s last game by new head coach Sheldon Keefe, who took over for the recently fired Mike Babcock. His return to the lineup means he will dress on Saturday against his former roommates and teammates in the city he called home for almost 24 months.
“It’s gonna be, I don’t even know how to describe it honestly. It’s going to be kind of funny to see Kerfoot out there,” Jost said. “It’ll be cool for me and Compher. I spent a lot of time, a lot my summer with him in Vancouver, we have a really good relationship.”
Jost joined the Avalanche four months before Kerfoot signed his deal. And with so many new faces in the locker room this year, he has grown into one of the Avalanche’s longest-tenured veterans.
The Avalanche are one of the top teams in the Western Conference largely due to the many new faces that were acquired this summer to bolster its depth. But on Saturday, with a couple of familiar faces coming back to town, it’ll be business as usual for the Avs, who look to get back into the winning column.
“It’s going to be weird playing against him, I’m definitely going to have a chuckle with him,” Jost said. “It’s going to be nice to see him and Barrie, but most importantly, we have to take care of business and get a win.”
The Avalanche and Maple Leafs will drop the puck at 5:18 p.m. MST and will be broadcasted on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.