Last summer, after pitches from a dozen teams, the Rangers emerged as the chosen club for Harvard free-agent winger Jimmy Vesey.
On Wednesday, center Alex Kerfoot, another free agent from the Crimson — albeit less heralded than Vesey — passed on offers from the Rangers and several other clubs and chose to sign with the Colorado Avalanche, according to TSN and other reports.
Kerfoot, who just turned 23, is a Vancouver native who was drafted in the fifth round by the Devils in 2012 and became a free agent on Aug. 16. He reportedly agreed to a two-year, entry-level contract worth $925,000 per season.
The Rangers were one of several finalists in the bidding for Kerfoot, who captained the Crimson in his senior season when he scored 16 goals and 45 points in 36 games. The 5-10, 175-pound pivot was one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Vesey won the award in 2016.
With the decision made, Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton will continue looking at candidates for third and fourth-line centers.
At the moment, without Derek Stepan (who was traded to Arizona) and Oscar Lindberg (lost to Las Vegas in the expansion draft), they have two pivots penciled in before training camp opens on Sept. 14: Mika Zibanejad on the first line and Kevin Hayes on the second.
David Desharnais, the former Canadien, is likely to skate on third or fourth line. Winger J.T. Miller, Lias Andersson, the No. 7 overall draft pick in June, and prospect Cristoval Nieves, who played in Hartford last season, are possibilities for the remaining spot or two.