Happy Anniversary Alexis Lafrenière ping pong lottery ball; recalling the cries of “rigged”

alexis lafreniere
Jan 16, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Alexis Lafreniere (13) skates against the New York Islanders during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett /POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Anniversary to the draft lottery ping pong ball that won the Blueshirts first overall and Alexis Lafrenière.

The NHL Draft Lottery was conducted in two phases in 2020, with a place holder team winning the first drawing. The next drawing was to see which eliminated Return to Play team would win the first overall pick. Today marks one year that ball came up….

New York Rangers

Alexis Lafrenière lottery lands with the New York Rangers

Alexis Lafreniere was born on October 11, 2001 in the town of Saint-Eustache, Canada. At an early age, he seemed to excel and looked destined to be a top draft pick in the NHL. The kid has all the makings to be an elite player in the league and has been under the microscope for years.

The term “generational talent” is sometimes overused when talking about potential first round picks but Lafreniere has a chance to be exactly that. Is he the next Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid, it’s unlikely but during a very difficult season he showed why he was so highly touted. 

The 19 year-old finished his first NHL season with 12 goals and 9 assists for 21 points in all 56 games the team played. Whenever he notched a point the Blueshirts would usually win going 14-4-0, and if he scored a goal it was 9-2-0.* By the end of the year, Lafrenière cemented himself as a top six winger and the future will only get brighter.

*Stats from NYR Media Guide

New York Rangers win rigged lottery?

While New York Rangers fans reveled in the excitement of picking first overall for the first time since 1965, conspiracy theorists were out it in full force.

new york rangers draft lottery
The lottery ball of destiny for the Rangers (NHLI/TSN)

Yes folks, the hashtag #Rigged was trending on Twitter as soon as they won. The reason being that during the lottery, as the balls were being verified by Gary Bettman, it was dropped early and then picked up and dropped again.

No, no, no…it’s not because the guy accidentally dropped it too soon before Bettman could verify it. No, it was because the ball was weighted? Yes…that’s it.

Enjoy it Blueshirt Faithful. Eat it up. Eat it all up.

Of course, there were those that made sure to bring a dose of reality.

Enjoy hearing from Alexis himself after learning he was going to the Blueshirts.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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