Who is Avalanche backup emergency goalie Jett Alexander? –

TORONTO — When the Avalanche went ice skating at Scotiabank Arena Wednesday before a matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs, both Darcy Kuemper and Jonas Johansson were in attendance. Head coach Jared Bednar said afterwards that Kuemper, who hadn’t started since Friday, would be back in goal.

But something has changed in the seven hours since. Just before heading out onto the ice to warm up, the Avalanche announced that Kuemper would be out with a torso injury and Johansson would be in the starting XI for the second straight season.

And his backup will be University of Toronto contingency goalie Jett Alexander

Alexander, 22, took to the ice in the No. 1 warm-up jersey – last worn by former Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov – and will only serve as a backup for part of the game. Young prospect Justus Annunen is en route from Loveland, Colorado and will be handling backup duties upon arrival.

But who is Jett Alexander? And how did he get into what might be the biggest game of the NHL season so far?

A native of Bloomfield, Ontario, Alexander has appeared in just one game for U-Sports, Canada’s official college hockey title. He wears the No. 33, which the Avs retired for Patrick Roy. Alexander played four seasons in the Ontario Junior Hockey League, split between the North York Rangers and Georgetown Raiders. He also had a brief stint in the British Columbia Hockey League with the Prince George Spruce Kings.

The Leafs previously had a messy history with a backup goaltender two seasons ago when their Zamboni driver and American Hockey League employee David Ayres competed for the visiting Carolina Hurricanes and was victorious. But it would take a unique situation for Alexander to fit. He would only have a chance if Johansson is injured before Annunen.

Regardless, Alexander will forever remember the night he got to serve as the Avalanche goalie. Even if the experience lasts less than a game.

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Aarif Deen is our beat reporter for Colorado Avalanche. He streams Avs games live from the Ball Arena and attends daily practices, media availability and other events related to the Avs. He is also the co-host of Hockey Mountain High: Your Favorite Avalanche Podcast. Deen joined Mile High Sports after completing his bachelor’s degree in journalism and his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Prior to Mile High Sports, Deen worked for the Michigan Wolverines Athletics Department as Assistant Sports Information Director.

Follow him on Twitter @runwriteAarif

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