Rangers Roundup: Alexis Lafreniere confident regarding new deal, and new ECHL affiliate
The New York Rangers offseason is now focused on the re-signing of two integral young players. Defenseman K’Andre Miller and forward Alexis Lafreniere are restricted free agents without arbitration rights and GM Chris Drury wants them both around for a long, long time.
In a new article by Jean Francois Chaumont of Le Journal de Montreal, Lafreniere addressed recent trade rumors.
“I don’t worry about rumors,” he said. “I’m happy with the Rangers.”
Alexis Lafreniere confident in Rangers’ deal
Lafreniere, 21, registered 16 goals and 23 assists for 39 points in 81 games last season. He’s been dealing with trade speculation since former head coach Gerard Gallant made him a healthy scratch last January.
Entering his fourth season, the Quebec native believes this will be a big year for him. With regards to a new contract, Lafreniere told Chaumont he’s spoken with Drury and remains confident something will get done.
For his career, Lafreniere has posted just 91 points in 216 regular-season games which is low for a first-overall pick and why these rumors persist despite both parties being vocally positive. Multiple sources believe Lafreniere is in line for a similar bridge deal that Kappo Kakko signed last summer in the neighborhood of two-years and $2.1 million AAV.
New ECHL affiliate
Last season, the Rangers AHL affiliate the Hartford Wolf Pack worked with the Jacksonville Icemen in the ECHL. On Wednesday, a new affiliation was announced with the Cincinnati Cyclones.
“The New York Rangers are excited to have reached an affiliate agreement with the Cincinnati Cyclones,” said Drury in a statement. “The organization constantly looks at the best ways to develop our prospects and we look forward to Cincinnati, as well as the continued support of the Hartford Wolf Pack, being a huge part of that process.”
In 2022-23, the Cyclones recorded a mark of 47-16-6-3 for 103 points. They lost in the Central Division Finals to the Toledo Walleye.
For more, check out the Wolf Pack press release.