Who is Avalanche backup emergency goalie Jett Alexander?

TORONTO — When the Avalanche took the ice for morning skate on Wednesday at Scotiabank Arena ahead of a matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs, both Darcy Kuemper and Jonas Johansson were present. Head coach Jared Bednar said afterward that Kuemper, who hasn’t started since Friday, would be back in goal.

But something changed in the seven hours since. Moments before taking the ice for warm-ups, the Avalanche announced Kuemper was out with an upper-body injury and Johansson would be starting for the second consecutive game.

And his backup will be emergency goalie Jett Alexander from the University of Toronto

Alexander, 22, took the ice for warm-ups donning jersey No. 1 — last worn by former Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov — and will serve as backup for only a portion of the game. Young prospect Justus Annunen is en route from Loveland, Colo., and will take over backup duties upon arrival.

But who is Jett Alexander? And how did he get inserted into perhaps the biggest game of the NHL season to date?

A native of Bloomfield, Ont., Alexander has appeared in just one game for U-Sports, the official title of Canadian college hockey. He wears No. 33, which the Avs have retired for Patrick Roy. Alexander played four seasons in the Ontario Junior Hockey League split between the North York Rangers and the Georgetown Raiders. He also had a brief stint in the British Columbia Hockey League with the Prince George Spruce Kings.

The Leafs previously had a chaotic storyline involving a backup goalie two seasons ago, when their American Hockey League Zamboni driver and employee David Ayres suited up for the visiting Carolina Hurricanes and was victorious. But it would take a unique situation for Alexander to suit up. He would only get a chance if Johansson goes down with an injury before Annunen arrives.

Regardless, Alexander will forever remember the night he got to serve as an Avalanche goalie. Even if the experience lasts for less than a game.

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Aarif Deen
 is our Colorado Avalanche beat reporter. He covers Avs games live from Ball Arena and attends practices, media availabilities and other events pertaining to the Avs on the daily beat. He is also a co-host of Hockey Mountain High: Your go-to Avalanche Podcast. Deen joined Mile High Sports upon completion of his bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s in business administration from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Before Mile High Sports, Deen worked for the Michigan Wolverines Athletics Department as the assistant sports information director.

Follow him on Twitter @runwriteAarif

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