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Is Alex Kerfoot Coyotes’ most underrated player?

© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

In the offseason, Arizona Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong strengthened the roster to be more competitive and challenge for playoff positions.

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Before, the Coyotes’ roster has been interchangeable with players who came and went with minimal stability year in, year out.

Others would be traded to Arizona who were placed on long-term injured reserve with “dead” contracts to meet the salary cap floor, but never played a game in a Kachina jersey.

The last time the ‘Yotes made the playoffs, despite finishing 10th in the Western Conference, was in the 2019-20 season, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, if the NHL did not expand the playoff format that campaign, Arizona would still be absent since 2011-12.

With being that said, the new era of Coyotes hockey is looking bright because of what Armstrong has done.

Trading for defensemen Sean Durzi, bringing back Nick Bjugstad and Troy Stetcher to the valley and signing Matt Dumba, Travis Dermott and Jason Zucker in free agency has bolstered the depth up and down the lineup.

Sure, the welcomed addition of Coyotes center Logan Cooley in the summer has paid dividends to begin the season as one of the top rookies in all of hockey.

But there is one player during this overhaul that has gone under the radar until recently, center Alex Kerfoot.

Kerfoot as a Coyote

Kerfoot signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the ‘Yotes after spending six seasons split between the Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Maple Leafs.

This season, Kerfoot began on the fourth line and was playing on the wing.

Then, Arizona were dealt with multiple injuries to players like centers Jack McBain, Travis Boyd and Barrett Hayton who have been missed down the middle of the Coyotes’ roster.

Lately, Kerfoot has went from the bottom trio with McBain and winger Liam O’Brien all the way to the top line with ‘Yotes stars Clayton Keller and Nick Schmaltz.

Known as a player who can be effective in any role, Kerfoot was on the Coyotes’ top penalty kill line, and now, their No. 1 power-play unit also.

The way he battles in the corner for loose pucks and his tenacity to defend at all costs, Kerfoot has been reliable away from possession.

Now, Kerfoot’s play style as a two-way forward has seen his offensive production skyrocketed with more ice-time with nine points in his last six contests.

Time will tell with when Kerfoot will have a more stable position on the team, but he has been the “jack of all trades” that the Coyotes have needed, someone who can do everything and do everything well.

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Alec Cipollini is a reporter of the Arizona Coyotes and Cardinals for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

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