Off The Post: Alexis Lafreniere, NHL Entry Draft Prospect – In the latest edition of Off The Post, Alexis Lafreniere speaks with media during a conference call that followed the second stage of the NHL Draft Lottery, won by the New York Rangers.
Widely considered to be a lock as the first-overall pick in the upcoming 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Lafreniere is thought to be a generational player, much like Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews. The Rangers, who were eliminated from the NHL’s Play-In round following resumption of action in July, now look add another young phenom to a lineup that includes touted future stars Kaapo Kakko, Ryan Lindgren and Vitali Kravtsov.
Lafreniere is familiar with the pressure that comes with being a first overall pick. In 2017, he was the number one selection by the Rimouski Oceanic. The QMJHL club, seemingly, was the perfect destination for the high-octane forward – their alumni include two other first-overall picks, Vincent Lecavalier and Sidney Crosby, who went on to have incredible NHL careers.
Across three seasons of play with Rimouski, Lafreniere counted 297 points – including 114 goals – in 173 games of regular season action, and 30 points in 20 playoff games. Lafreniere was named the QMJHL Rookie of the Year in 2017-18 and his play has been phenomenal ever since. With a limited supporting case, Lafreniere still excelled, counting at least 35 goals and better than one-assist-per-game average over his final two seasons in Junior play.
Where Lafreniere solidified his number-one ranking status was the World Junior Hockey Championship. Playing in the U-20 tournament, Lafreniere posted 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in 5 games and led Canada to the gold medal. Virtually every mid-season scouting report tabbed the Saint-Eustache, PQ native as the top prospect for the 2020 Draft, and he retained that standing through the end of the Covid-19-shortened season of play.
Off The Post: Alexis Lafreniere, NHL Entry Draft Prospect – Image Gallery
Off The Post: Alexis Lafreniere, NHL Entry Draft Prospect
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