Future Rangers: Alexis Lafreniere, and yes Jeff Gorton would be crazy to trade the pick
The Rangers truly won the “lottery” when their ball game up for first overall. That lucky ball gave the Blueshirts the right to draft a potential generational talent in Alexis Lafreniere.
I wanted to take some time to collect some highlights and interviews so that Rangers fans can assess and digest exactly what they are getting.
Alexis Lafreniere Scouting Report
On a recent episode of Forever Blueshirts Radio, I spoke with the Draft Analyst, Steve Kournianos who had some impressive takes on the kid. Here’s a brief scouting report, followed by a highlight reel you have to watch.
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.
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.
Alexis Lafreniere in his own words
After the draft lottery, Lafreniere met with the media and dished on his game and the likelihood he will be selected by the New York Rangers.
A few highlights from the interview below is that Lafreniere called Artemi Panarin one of his favorite players and the he has never been to New York before.
Jeff Gorton on Lafreniere
Although Jeff Gorton was non-committal in saying who he would take, his glowing praise for Lafreniere is evident.