Home / World News / Avalanche’s all-rookie line is an educational experience – The Denver Post

Avalanche’s all-rookie line is an educational experience – The Denver Post

According to Tyson Jost, there’s chemistry to be had with young NHL players sharing living quarters. Put three roommates on the same line and, boom, suddenly there’s tremendous rapport.

At least, that’s what Jost is anticipating since being assigned to a line Monday with fellow rookie centermen Alex Kerfoot and J.T Compher.

“It’s awesome. Obviously, we’re young, we’re fast,” Jost said after practice Monday, a day after being recalled from his week-long conditioning assignment in the minors. “We live together, too, so we’ve got a little bit of ‘roomy chem’ going on. It’s fun. We’re all excited.”

Each a natural center, Jost and Compher will play the wings on Colorado’s all-NCAA line. Jost, 19, played one year at the University of North Dakota, Kerfoot, 23, had four years at Harvard and Compher, 22, played three at Michigan. They share a home in the Cherry Creek area with second-year defenseman Chris Bigras, 22, who came from the major-junior system — where the majority of the NHL players develop.

And make no mistake, the college guys value their educational experience.

“I always can’t boast enough about UND and how great they were to me, how great that program is and how great the NCHC (National Collegiate Hockey Conference) and the NCAA is,” Jost said. “I know they’ll say the same thing. College was awesome and it really helped us develop and we’re just happy to be part of their product and we just try to promote their brand.”

Said Kerfoot: “I’m definitely happy I went that route and the more NCAA guys we get on our team, the happier I’d be.”

Kerfoot is of the thinking that you can’t have enough centers, because having three on a line adds to faceoff options and promotes on-the-fly adjustments in the defensive zone. Playing with Jost and Compher, Kerfoot won’t always be the forward defending below the goal line if he’s not the first forward on the back-check.

“The more centermen you have, the easier it is to be linemates,” Kerfoot said. “Nowadays, it’s pretty much the first guy back plays low and the more guys you have that are comfortable playing low, the better off you’ll be.”

Said Avs coach Jared Bednar: “(Three centers) helps on the draws. Compher has been taking draws on the right side, Kerfoot on the left, and if either one of them struggles, the (third) guy can jump in. Also arriving in D-zone coverage on your low play, you get three guys that are used to playing low all the time. Any particular one of those guys gets in the zone first and tracks back, it helps you close things out quicker because you’ve got a natural centerman down there that knows what he’s doing.”

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