The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed forward J.T. Compher to a four-year contract through the 2022-23 season.
Compher, 24, finished fifth on the Avalanche with 16 goals and tied for the team lead with three shorthanded tallies in 66 games during the 2018-19 campaign. His 16 goals, 16 assists and 32 points all surpassed his rookie season totals from 2017-18. The Northbrook, Illinois, native was one of eight NHL players with at least three shorthanded, power-play and game-winning goals in 2018-19, joining Sebastian Aho, Cam Atkinson, Patrice Bergeron, Blake Coleman, Leon Draisaitl, Brad Marchand and Brandon Saad. Compher was the first Avalanche player to accomplish that feat (at least three SHG, PPG and GWG in a season) since Joe Sakic in 2000-01.
Compher added six points (4g/2a) in 12 playoff games, with his four goals tying for third on the team. He set a playoff career high with two goals and three points in Game 6 of Colorado’s second-round series against San Jose on May 6, becoming the first Avalanche player to record three or more points in an elimination game since Alex Tanguay in Game 7 of the 2001 Stanley Cup Final. The 6-foot, 193-pound forward finished with two goals and three points during the first round series against Calgary, with both tallies coming in the third period of overtime victories (Games 2 and 4).
“J.T. has been one of our most versatile forwards over the past two years,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President / General Manager Joe Sakic. “He plays on our power play, kills penalties and has played up and down our lineup. He has scored some big goals late in games and we are counting on him to have an even more expanded role moving forward. We are excited to have him under contract for the next four seasons.”
Compher scored two shorthanded goals on the same penalty kill on Nov. 23, 2018 at Arizona, tying the franchise record for shorthanded goals in a game (fourth time) and a period (second time). He set a new franchise mark for the fastest two shorthanded goals (1:25) and also became the first player in Colorado/Quebec history to score two SHG on the same opponent power play.
Selected by Buffalo in the second round (35th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, Compher was acquired by the Avalanche on June 26, 2015. He has recorded 60 points (32g/28a) in 156 career NHL regular season games and added nine points (4g/5a) in 18 career playoff contests.
During his rookie season of 2017-18, Compher totaled 13 goals and 23 points in 69 games. He netted two overtime goals that year to become the first rookie in Avalanche/Nordiques franchise history to score two OT winners in a season. He was one of four first-year players with two or more OT winners in 2017-18 and finished tied for second among NHL rookies with two shorthanded goals, the most by an Avs rookie since Ryan O’Reilly in 2009-10.
Compher made his NHL debut on March 2, 2017 at Ottawa and appeared in each of Colorado’s final 21 games of the 2016-17 campaign (3g/2a). Prior to turning pro, he played three seasons at the University of Michigan, where he was named one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award while serving as team captain during his junior year in 2015-16. A product of the United States National Team Development Program, Compher has represented Team USA at the 2016 and 2017 IIHF World Championship, the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2012 and 2013 IIHF U18 World Championship.