November 22, 2020

Decision by New York Rangers on Alexis Lafreniere participation at WJC looming

Lafreniere ready for camp (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

The New York Rangers have three prospects participating in Canada’s WJC camp. One player that was not on the invite list and a glaring omission is #1 pick Alexis Lafreniere.

This was done intentionally since the game plan is to have him start the season with the big club. Of course, there is no determination as to when the next NHL season will start. So there is a possibility that Lafreniere, and even Kaapo Kakko could play in the tournament.

Rangers weighing sending Lafreniere to WJC

Former Rangers head coach Tom Renney is responsible for Team Canada. He stated that there are ongoing discussions and the Rangers are open-minded to Alexis competing at the WJC. Renney said he will circle back with New York in 10 days to discuss where they are at on his participation. This is also likely the case with Kaapo Kakko for Finland.

RELATED: Rangers prospect tested positive for COVID-19

Hockey Canada needs a decision on Lafreniere soon

Alexis Lafreniere WJC Rangers
Lafrenière (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Codie McLachlan)

The 10 day window mentioned by Renney has long passed. Now Hockey Canada VP, Scott Salmond says the Rangers have not made a decision yet on Alexis Lafreniere playing at WJC.

Salmond also added that they will need an answer by December 6. That is due to the IIHF ruling all teams must be together for one week prior to entering Edmonton bubble on December 13.

The word around the Rangers is they are waiting to see if the league can indeed hit a January 1 start date. If the NHL can, or very close to it they will keep Lafreniere with the big club.

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