The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without another one of their forwards for a period of time. Alexander Kerfoot has been ruled out indefinitely after undergoing surgery to repair dental fractures suffered against the Los Angeles Kings. NHL write Mike Zeisberger broke the news.
— Mike Zeisberger (@Zeisberger) November 15, 2019
Alexander Kerfoot Out Indefinitely
Kerfoot was off to a an average start to the season. The former Colorado Avalanche skater had contributed five goals and eight points in 20 games with his new team. He had scored over 40 points in his two seasons in Denver. However, his current pace put him on track to fall slightly below that. He has been stuck behind Toronto’s other forwards but is still shooting the puck consistently. Kerfoot also has good possession metrics and was averaging just over two minutes per game on the power play.
Kerfoot had moved up to the second line briefly to cover John Tavares‘ finger injury but most of his time was spent on the third. His most frequent linemate at even strength has been Ilya Mikheyev with other players rotation alongside. Kerfoot’s injury means that the lines will continue to shuffle. The Leafs were already determining how to cover Marner’s absence and how to reintegrate Zach Hyman who is back from an ACL injury.
What This Means for the Future
This injury certain derails aspects of Kerfoot’s development and Toronto’s line chemistry. Look for Jason Spezza to anchor the third line while Kerfoot recovers. The former Ottawa Senator and Dallas Star has been declining for years but can still win a faceoff and control the puck. The team could also opt to try either Nick Shore or Nic Petan but neither of those players have Spezza’s experience. Toronto will have to find internal options as their cap situation does not give them much flexibility at this point.
TORONTO, ON – NOVEMBER 09: Toronto Maple Leafs Center Alexander Kerfoot (15) passes the puck during the regular season NHL game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs on November 9, 2019 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)