January 5, 2021

Artemi Panarin tells Rangers prized rookie, Alexis Lafreniere to work on mental game

Artemi Panarin and Alexis Lafreniere battle for the puck (Nick Homler / NYR)

The Rangers completed another day of training camp, and did so without Mika Zibanejad again. There’s no update on his status, but they hope to have him back soon.

After practice, Artemi Panarin was made available via Zoom and discussed a myriad of topics. Of course, he was asked about young phenom Alexis Lafreniere and the Rangers leading scorer had some advice.

Artemi Panarin tells Alexis Lafreniere to work on mental game

New York Rangers
Panarin and Lafreniere at camp (Nick Homler / NYR)

“My advice [to Lafreniere] was now that he’s playing at this level it’s all about mental stability and preparation,” Panarin replied to a question about the rookie. “It’s maybe no longer about skating laps but really working on the mental part of the game and your psychology.”

As far as what Panarin sees of him on the ice, he’s very impressed. “I see a lot skill, a lot skating,” Panarin said. “Fearless hockey.”

Lafreniere a big fan of Panarin’s game

This has to be really special for Lafreniere. Prior to being drafted he said in numerous interviews that he’s a fan of Panarin’s game.

So when he was asked about possibly playing with Panarin he answered, “Maybe having the chance to play with him, it would be an honor.”

“It would be special for me and I would try to learn as much as I can from him,” he concluded. Well, the time is here and the lessons have begun.

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