November 19, 2020

Alexis Lafreniere will be a serious threat to win NHL Rookie of the Year

NYC loves Lafreniere (Getty Images)

Alexis Lafreniere was the consensus number one pick well before the New York Rangers won the lottery. Prior to the draft, TSN’s Craig Button projected Alexis Lafreniere to score 60 points in his first year with the Rangers.

In late October, NHL Network did a deep dive on Lafreniere. The analysis was glowing and that there was no question Alexis is the best player in the draft. Projections by the crew was also around the 50 to 60 point mark.

Alexis Lafreniere Calder Trophy favorite

Should Lafreniere score 60 or more points, he would likely be the clear cut favorite to win the Calder Trophy. If does, he will be the first Ranger to win it since Brian Leetch in 1989.

Another rookie that could challenge Lafreniere is the second overall pick, Quinton Byfield. He will get ample opportunity and ice time with the Kings.

Talking Alexis Lafreniere

In a draft special podcast, I and The Draft Analyst, Steve Kournianos discussed Alexis Lafreniere. Listen on iTunes here.

Alexis Lafreniere’s scouting report

Here’s a partial scouting report from my good friend Steve Kournianos.

A gifted and versatile scoring winger with outstanding hockey sense and the ability to elevate his game when the situation calls for it, Lafreniere possesses many traits that scream elite and potential NHL superstar. From his deadly wrist shot to his superior playmaking and vision, the St. Eustache native checks every block imaginable when it comes to possessing the puck. What makes Lafreniere unique, however, is his insanely high compete level, tenacity on the puck, physicality, and selflessness. Play him on a line with equally heralded or accomplished prospects, and he’ll make it a point to tap into their strengths rather than make himself the center of attention.

Alexis Lafreniere Rangers
Lafreniere is pick number 1 (Bauer Hockey)

Lafreniere is an excellent skater in all directions, but his powerful stride allows him to separate from opponents in open ice. It’s rare to see a winger nearing 200 pounds of any age to be able to turn on the jets immediately following a physical battle, but Lafreniere’s foot speed, long stride, and expert anticipation places him in open ice with a numbers advantage multiple times a period, let alone an entire game. Playing in a junior league has something to do with that, but there no reason to believe his escapability in close contact won’t translate to success within the trenches of NHL warfare, where time and space are earned the hard way. Lafreniere can tailor his game to fit any style of play, and his ability to play physical causes significant matchup problems for smaller opponents.

For the full Scouting Report check out The Draft Analyst

Watch Alexis Lafreniere Highlights

I don’t know about you, but a scouting report is better when you can see it for yourself. Check out these great highlights.

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