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Kiefer Sherwood having a career year with Colorado Eagles – and better NHL future may be ahead

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Kiefer Sherwood

ONTARIO, Calif. – Kiefer Sherwood was never drafted by an NHL team. In his entire hockey career, pro and college, he’s been more than a point-a-game scorer just once, in 2016-17 with Miami of Ohio, with 38 points in 36 games. He has had a journeyman pro career, mostly as a depth-guy plugger. But in 2021-22, with the Colorado Eagles, he’s turned into an AHL superstar of sorts.

Entering Saturday night’s game for the Eagles against the Ontario Reign, Sherwood had 30 goals and 62 points in 50 games. I’ve seen him play several times this year, and, honestly, he’s looked dominant at times. To me, he’s looked like the AHL version of Jarome Iginla. He’s big, strong, physical and now. … very fast on his skates. He’s been the Eagles’ true leader all season, or so it’s seemed to me.

He’s played 11 games with the Colorado Avalanche this season too, but the scoring numbers aren’t quite as impressive: one goal, one assist. Of course, he doesn’t play on the first line with the Avs when he gets a call-up, like he does with the Eagles.

So, the question is: what explains Sherwood’s newfound all-star status (he made the AHL ASG this season)?

The answer, or some of it anyway: new skating techniques, thanks to some lessons he took over the summer. Hey, you’re never too old to learn new tricks, right?

“I just tried to go back to the basics last summer, work on my edge work and just kind of further myself,” Sherwood said. “This whole organization has so much talent, so you just try to take a page out of their books.”

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I had another question for Sherwood, 27, a 6-foot, 194-pound right winger from Columbus, Ohio: When he gets the next call from the Avs or any other NHL team, will he think of himself more now as a scorer, and not a depth plugger who should just worry about getting pucks deep and finishing his checks?

“I just control what I can, no matter where I am,” he said. “If I bring the work ethic, the rest will take care of itself. Whatever a team needs, I want to do.”

Sherwood will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and I won’t be at all surprised if either the Avs or another team signs him to a one-way deal. PuckPedia lists his salary as $750,000 at the NHL level and $335,000 at the AHL level. That’s still pretty good coin for a minor-league player. After this season, though, he might well have a good chance at being a full-time NHLer.

But Sherwood, as you may have gathered already, doesn’t like to look too far into the future. He embraces the Buddhist philosophy of “no future, no past, just the present.”

“Just take it day by day,” Sherwood said. “Next season – there’s too far for me to look ahead to. I’m just enjoying being in this organization, and that’s it.”

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Rick

A classic tweener. like T.J. Tynan, Jason Megna, Dylan Sikura and so many others. Seems like a great guy but he’s had a lot of shots at the NHL and always does very little. If he played baseball they’d call him a 4A player. His floor and ceiling are about an inch apart. So he’s a trusted call-up but always disappoints.

Matt Briggle

I wish the best for him, and really hope you’re right.

Rick

I guess we’ll see. He’s 1-1-2 in 11 NHL games this season. At age 27 a big AHL season doesn’t mean much. T.J. Tynan won the AHL MVP last season and has spent all but 2 games this year playing for Ontario where he has 85 points in 53 games. He looks remarkably like Sherwood when he plays in the NHL. I have nothing against Sherwood, he seems like a great guy who gives tremendous effort but he pretty much is what he is at this point.

Matt Briggle

After watching that game, I’m guessing that Byram will get recalled tomorrow and likely play Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Yes, he may still be a little rusty, but he looked confident out there with the puck and not hesitant at all going into the dirty areas of the ice. Honestly, it looked to me like a lot of what might be rust was more playing down in the AHL rather than in the NHL. A lot of the plays he was trying to make just weren’t there because nobody on the team knew what to expect from him. Fortunately neither did… Read more »

Donald Victory

Maybe Bo needs to wear a more protective helmet? Seems they are loose and tin cups. Hockey plays faster than the NFL with a lot more buzz around the puck and continuous action so harder to protect. Seems a better lid might suit him well?

Last edited 5 months ago by Donald Victory
Glendon Gulliver

Sherwood and several other of the Avs prospects will have a “better” chance at making the team next year. Most likely, the Avs will not be able to sign or want to sign much of their free agents. They include Andre Burakovsky, Nazem Kadri, Valeri Nichushkin, Darcy Kuemper, Darren Helm, Ryan Murray, Josh Manson, and Kurtis MacDermid. Prospects will be elevated or traded to build next year’s team. As AD said, Sherwood will have an NHL career next year. Question is with which team?

gimmepuck

They are Def going to work hard at signing big Val and KMac, likely Manson – and DK if he has a good post season showing.

No on Helm, Bura.

Murray would need a very good post season, given his tough year (talk about snake bitten).

Kadri would require a hometown special…sadly, unlikely.

Aaron Rud

I really like Sherwood, but I think he gets somewhat manhandled and pushed around at the NHL level. I really liked Sikura when he was up. Anyway, both guys provide good hustle and a seemingly good attitude.

Donald Victory

AD says he is big and powerful like Iginla…haha!

Donald Victory

He’s big at maybe 6’0″ and 190? LOL! He looks puny when he has played for the Avs and mostly a liability. Good luck to him, but I would not bet on him being any more than a marginal fourth liner on any NHL squad.

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