Wednesday, November 2, 2011


There's a great story on Express rookie Alex Kerfoot in todays Vancouver Sun by Gary Kingston.

Check it out below...

Kerfoot looks to take Express route to pros

Seventeen-year-old son of Whitecaps soccer club owner highly touted and likely headed for NHL draft, scout predicts


Up in the top row of seats at the Langley Events Centre on Tuesday, a veteran scout was asked about the NHL draft prospects of 17-year-old Alex Kerfoot.

"Oh yeah, he'll get drafted," said the scout of the forward who was skating in the final selection camp scrimmage for the Canada West team that will play in next week's World Junior A Challenge at the LEC. "He's been getting a lot of attention."

"And if he doesn't make a team," the scout added with a wry smile, "his dad will just buy him one."

Just a joke, dad.

'Dad' is Greg Kerfoot, the reclusive millionaire owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer.

While the talented young Alex likely won't need any help from his father's fat pocket, he wouldn't mind some of Pop's height. Hockey Canada's initial list of selection camp invitees from the Junior A leagues in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba had Kerfoot, a West Vancouver native who plays for the Coquitlam Express in the B.C. Hockey League, listed at 5-foot-7 and 130 pounds. A pipsqueak.

On Tuesday, a newer roster had Kerfoot at a more appropriate five foot nine and a half and 153 pounds.

"Yeah, that's pretty much right," he said, grinning through a set of braces.

"My dad's 6-3, so he's big. Hopefully, I've still got some room to grow."

Kerfoot stamped himself as a legitimate prospect last season when he won the B.C. Major Midget League scoring title with 36 goals and 72 assists in just 38 games. "He's a very highly skilled player," said Coquitlam general manager Darcy Rota.

"He's a strong playmaker, that's his forte. He also can score goals, but he's got great vision on the ice. He tore apart the midget league."

In 12 games with the Express this season, Kerfoot has five goals and 10 assists.

"It was a little bit of an adjustment," he said of the jump to Junior A. "Coming in from midget, everyone is bigger and stronger. But as it's gone on, it's becoming easier to play and the game has kind of slowed down."

Canada West and Canada East will be joined in the six team World Challenge by squads from the U.S., Sweden, Russia and the Czech Republic. The Canadian teams are restricted to just five 1992-born players, leaving ample room on the rosters for the draft-eligible 1994-born players that the NHL scouts will be keeping a keen eye on next week.

"[Alex] is a very smart player," said Canada West head coach Kent Lewis of the BCHL Powell River Kings. "He's got a skill set that's well above average. He's a learner, a quiet kid ... but definitely, his talent level is very high."

He showed that Tuesday, sneakily stick-checking the puck away from a defenceman to score a third-period power play goal. He then got the overtime winner for his Red squad, making a power move to the net on a two-on-one break.

Kerfoot, who has never played on a Hockey Canada team, says it will be a "really cool experience" to face the European squads with their different styles of play. A late-round bantam draft pick of the WHL Seattle Thunderbirds, Kerfoot has decided to pass on the major junior system and will play NCAA hockey in the U.S.

"Just because I've always been a smaller guy, it'll give me some time to develop. And I'm not in any rush to go anywhere. And going to college, I'll have something to fall back on if hockey doesn't work out."

Kerfoot made recruiting visits a week ago to Boston College and Harvard and has another one planned for later this month at Yale.

"Amazing facilities and all the guys and the coaches were really great. I saw Boston College play Northeastern and it was crazy, definitely different than Junior A. The Northeastern student section in the upper deck was crazy, going non-stop the whole time. It was loud."

With Harvard and Yale on his three-school short list, Kerfoot, currently in Grade 12 at Collingwood in West Vancouver, is clearly no dummy.

"I have pretty good grades," he says with a smile. "I wouldn't get into Harvard by myself though, but good enough [grades] that they can take me."

As befits the son of a modern high-tech financier, Kerfoot says he'll "probably" study business.

A standout tennis and soccer player, Kerfoot actually played two seasons as a midfielder with the Vancouver Whitecaps under-13 team that won a couple of tournaments on a tour of Europe. He had to give up soccer a couple of years ago, however, when the commitment level needed to play major midget hockey increased.

"I love soccer, but hockey has always been my passion."

And how did dad react when he picked hockey?

"Until he started [with his purchase of the Whitecaps], he wasn't that into soccer. He never played soccer. He grew up with hockey."

IN THE CREASE: The BCHL placed 14 players on the 22-man Canada West squad

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