Analysts see Alexis Lafreniere coming into “perfect situation” with New York Rangers and project two breakout candidates this season

Alexis Lafreniere is the most highly touted prospect to enter the Rangers organization probably since Brian Leetch. Analysts on NHL Network see him as a player who will have a “center effect” as a winger, which means making players around him better.

Alexis Lafreniere is a multi-faceted force

Alexis Lafreniere
Alexis Lafreniere (Photo: Vincent Ethier/CHL)

“Multi-faceted” was the keyword used to describe Alexis Lafreniere. “He can play the physical brand of hockey, he can go to the net, his shot is extremely underrated and his skating is no issue.”

They also compared him to players like Sidney Crosby, Auston Matthews and Patrick Kane. In particular Kane because of his rare ability to drive play from the wing. He and Artemi Panarin being on the same team also take pressure off Lafreniere as he slides into the perfect situation.

Igor Shesterkin and Adam Fox top five breakout candidates

Sportsnet’s Justin Bourne has selected not one, but two Rangers in his top five breakout candidate for 2021. Both Igor Shesterkin and Adam Fox made his list and with good reason.

On Igor Shesterkin he wrote:

I don’t claim to know everything about goaltending, but I’m pretty comfortable forecasting this guy as the real deal. I’m basing that on a combination of the eyeball test and oh, roughly every stat he’s ever put up – playing more than 12 games at the NHL level is the only thing that will qualify it as a “breakout.”

igor shesterkin
Shesterkin (Getty Images)

While on Adam Fox he explained:

This is a guy who’s put up gaudy stats from the back-end basically everywhere he’s been, including 42 in 70 games as a rookie for the Rangers. But last year he was only fourth among Rangers D in time-on-ice per game, and I’m guessing the chance to move well north of 18:54 a night (and all that comes with that on a good offensive team) leads to even bigger numbers still.

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Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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