Canucks rumoured to have high interest Hobey Baker Award finalist Alex Kerfoot and he's excited about it

Mar 16 2017, 8:53 pm

They say where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

If rumours emitted smoke, you’d be able to see a giant plume of it from miles away concerning rumours linking NCAA prospect Alex Kerfoot and the Vancouver Canucks.

Kerfoot, a 22-year-old centre from West Vancouver, is completing his final year with the Harvard Crimson. Judging from his comments to News 1130’s Rick Dhaliwal, he has a soft spot for the Canucks.

Just one problem. Kerfoot, the son of Vancouver Whitecaps FC majority owner Greg Kerfoot, is property of the New Jersey Devils.

The 5-foot-10, 175-pound prospect was drafted by New Jersey in the fifth-round of the 2012 NHL Draft. But just like last year’s Hobey Baker Award winner Jimmy Vesey, who left the Predators high and dry to sign with the New York Rangers after his final season of NCAA hockey, Kerfoot will become an unrestricted free agent if still unsigned by August 15.

The fourth-year senior and the Canucks have also been linked in recent weeks by some of hockey’s most prominent insiders.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman noted the interest from the Canucks last month.

Then, on Tuesday, TSN’s Darren Dreger echoed those thoughts.

The Canucks aren’t permitted to speak with Kerfoot while he’s the property of another NHL team. But given the info from Friedman and Dreger, there’s every reason to believe they’re interested in the youngster.

And why wouldn’t they be?

Kerfoot’s stock has risen quite rapidly since his low draft position nearly five years ago. Harvard’s co-captain was named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top player in the NCAA, on Wednesday.

His 40 points (16-24-40) in 31 games leads the Crimson in scoring this season.

Here’s the scouting report on Kerfoot from Hockey’s Future:

Kerfoot is blessed with a tremendous amount of natural offensive skill. His best attributes though are his on-ice vision and hockey sense. His elite-level puck skills are evident in the fact that he is both a good passer and finisher. While he continues to work on his skating, he is still quick and elusive. Despite being undersized, Kerfoot battles all over the ice and is not afraid of physical play. Despite working hard in the weight room, the centerman needs to continue focusing on his health to limit the potential for injuries.

Sounds tantalizing.

At this stage in the game, Kerfoot holds all the cards. His season is nearly over with the Crimson, and he knows that he’s in-demand with NHL teams.

His comments appear to be a glimpse into his secret desire to play in Vancouver, but the most important factor for him should be where he feels he can develop into the best possible hockey player.

Is that in Vancouver, the place that fellow NCAA prospect Zach Aston-Reese called “the land of opportunity” earlier this week? It very well could be, given the Canucks’ desire to get younger.

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