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Beefed-up Alexander Kerfoot ready to rumble for Avalanche

Adrian Dater Avatar
September 14, 2018

The firemen who do those beefcake calendars and events probably don’t need to worry just yet, but Alexander Kerfoot can definitely be described as more “buff” than last year at this time.

A summer spent maybe as much in the weight room as an ice sheet added “seven or eight” pounds of muscle to the frame of Kerfoot, who last season was listed at 5-10, 175 pounds. A good portion of the new muscle appears to have been installed to the upper body.

The sophomore Avalanche left wing/center from Harvard plans to put that muscle to good use for what he knows will be a “prove it to us again” season. Signed as a free agent last summer, Kerfoot was the surprise player on the Avs in 2017-18, posting 19 goals and 43 points in 79 games.

There were plenty of times Kerfoot just flat-out took a beating on the ice, as bigger opponents regularly tested him physically. Through it all, the 22-year-old from the Vancouver, British Columbia, area showed he was anything but a soft Ivy Leaguer. That said, there were times when he was pushed around a little, and one of his off-season goals was to get bigger and stronger. That mission, his tight undershirt showed, has been accomplished.

That wasn’t his only summertime goal.

“I want to be known as more of a two-way player. I don’t want to be a one-way guy,” said Kerfoot, who was a minus-7. “I think I know more now of how to accomplish that.”

But offense is what got Kerfoot this far, despite knocks against his size, and the kid with the economics degree from probably the best school in the world knows that will continue to be his meal ticket.

Kerfoot enters training camp penciled in as the second-line left wing. On a team with youngsters vying for spots and others with more to prove, he knows he’ll have to produce at the same steady clip of last year – and, he hopes, more so.

“We know what the first line is going to do. They’re incredible hockey players, no matter who they’re playing against. But, as a group, the rest of us forwards have to collectively contribute and provide a little bit more secondary scoring,” Kerfoot said. “It gets easier and easier to shut down one line when there’s no other offense involved in the attack, so I think that’s a challenge to the rest of us and different guys are going to have to step up to provide that.”

Kerfoot spent most of the summer in Beautiful B.C., training at Fortius Sport and Health, a big facility in Burnaby – same hometown as Joe Sakic. Kerfoot trained under the tutelage of Molly O’Brien.

“She’s really good. There’s lot of pro guys who also train with her, guys like Morgan Reilly, Brenden Dillon, Shea Theodore, Curtis McKenzie,” Kerfoot said.

Kerfoot, whose vision with the puck is at an elite level, gained a reputation as a player who needed to “shooooot” more. Kerfoot took just 81 shots on goal as a rookie, scoring on a robust 23.5 percent of them.

“That’s the plan,” Kerfoot said, when asked if he’d shoot more. “You guys have got all the answers right? Obviously, I had a high shooting percentage because I didn’t take a lot of shots….I think it’s about finding the right balance. You don’t want to just shoot the puck to shoot the puck. But I want to show the opposing teams different looks. And because of that, I know I have to shoot the puck more.”

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