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At last, there’s news — real news! News regarding the New York Rangers, who’ve been conspicuously quiet on the NHL front through the doldrums of August.
According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the Rangers are among the final “two or three teams” that Harvard free agent center Alex Kerfoot is considering:
The Rangers are among the final two or three teams under consideration by Harvard free-agent center Alex Kerfoot, The Post has learned.
J.P. Barry, the 23-year-old center’s agent who confirmed the parties’ mutual interest, told The Post that Kerfoot likely would reach a decision no later than Tuesday following a weekend of reflection.
As Andrew Keenan highlighted back on August 12th, Kerfoot, along with Butcher and Toninato (who signed with the Avalanche) are class leaders for a very small group of free agents who were made available on August 16th.
The Rangers are no strangers to this practice, having signed both Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey in recent years through exactly this process. Vesey, interestingly enough, is actually a former line mate of Kerfoot’s, which could bode well for the Rangers’ chance of landing the 23-year old center.
Again, as Keenan noted:
“Kerfoot will likely be looking to get ice time immediately and the Rangers can offer just that and quite a bit of it. If he’s unsure of whether or not he’ll actually receive that time, he can look no further than the treatment of former college Unrestricted Free Agents (UFAs) Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey who both saw immediate action after signing. In addition, going to New York means a reunion with former linemate Jimmy Vesey. The two were productive alongside each other in Harvard and slotting Kerfoot into the third line center spot would likely result in Vesey joining him on the wing. Given the Rangers usage of Kevin Hayes to lure Jimmy Vesey to New York, it’s likely they will, in turn, use the Harvard connection to try and win over yet another college UFA.”
Brooks also confirmed that should the Vancouver native join his old Harvard teammate in New York, he would certainly be in the mix for an opening-night roster spot where he’d likely be competing against Lias Andersson and David Desharnais.