NCAA free agent and former New Jersey Devils prospect Alex Kerfoot has been expected to make a decision in the near future, and Darren Dreger of TSN has reported his “final five.” The Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks, New York Islanders and Colorado Avalanche are the finalists for the Harvard forward. Arthur Staple of Newsday adds that he’s heard it’s just between the Sharks and Rangers.
Kerfoot became a free agent last week when the Devils were unable to sign him, and there were as many as 10 teams interested in signing him to an entry-level contract. Many believed his hometown of Vancouver would be his final destination, but other teams also provide interesting options. Former teammate Jimmy Vesey followed a similar path and signed with the Rangers last offseason, while the Sharks and Islanders both have their eye on the playoffs and could be losing key centers—Joe Thornton and John Tavares—after this season.
The Colorado connection is an interesting one, as the team could easily give Kerfoot a role right away on the struggling NHL team but does have several young centers that seem locked in for the long-term. Even if Matt Duchene is moved eventually, Nathan MacKinnon, Tyson Jost and J.T. Compher are all expected to stay in the middle which would likely require a move to the wing for Kerfoot.
It’s not clear exactly where Kerfoot’s priorities lie, as he hasn’t been as vocal as fellow free agent Will Butcher on what he’s looking for in his first professional opportunity. Kerfoot is expected to make a decision within the next few days, at which point he will have to sign a two-year entry-level contract.