Rangers Roundup: Adam Fox named alternate captain, and Alexis Lafreniere back at practice

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The New York Rangers will add one more name to their leadership group heading into the 2023-24 season.

Defenseman Adam Fox will wear an A on his sweater during the season after being named the team’s fifth alternate captain. He will join forwards Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, and Barclay Goodrow to serve under captain Jacob Trouba.

“It’s a pretty big honor,” Fox said on Sunday. “You want to be a leader, letter or not, so it was a little bit of a surprise, because I thought we had the A’s all set. It’s not going to change what I do, but it’s nice to have the responsibility.”

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Adam Fox named alternate captain

Fox, 25, finished this past season eighth among all defensemen with 72 points (12 goals, 60 assists) and a plus-28 rating through 82 games for his second consecutive 70-point season. The last Rangers’ defenseman to accomplish that was Brian Leetch (two times, most recently in 1995-96 and 1996-97). Oddly enough, Leetch was also the last blue-liner to record 100+ points (102 points, 1991-92) until Karlsson posted 101 to win the Norris in 2022-23.

“I think this is a natural progression for a person and a player like Adam,” head coach Peter Laviolette explained. “Getting to work with him in the short period of time, his commitment, and trying to be a top-flight defenseman, this is what he’s earned.”

Jacob Trouba, who’s entering his second season as Rangers captain was also thrilled with the news.

“I think it’s great and well deserved,” he said. “The way he plays, he’s a big piece of our team and a big leader. Over the last couple of years, he’s gotten more comfortable around the rink and locker room. He’s more vocal, and it’s just a natural progression for him to grow as a leader.”

Alexis Lafreniere back at practice

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As we get closer to the start of the Rangers’ regular season on October 12, another injured player returned to practice. Alexis Lafreniere, who wasn’t available yesterday due to an upper-body injury, was skating in a red non-contact jersey.

“There’s still guys out there in different color jerseys,” Laviolette noted. “So we’re still a couple of days away from seeing who’s available to go.”

One thing of note was Lafreniere on the third line left wing and Will Cuylle moved up to the second line right wing. Whether that is any indication of how the lines will look next week remains to be seen.

“I think it will depend how things shake out over the next couple of days,” the coach stated. “We have guys that can play either side. We’re trying to give reps to players to show what they can do on the ice.”

Lafreniere, 21, is embarking on his fourth NHL campaign and hoping to finally realize his potential. Thus far, through 216 games, the 2020 first overall pick has amassed just 91 points. He signed a two-year bridge deal on August 23, for $2.325 million per season.

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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