Rangers opt to keep Alexis Lafreniere in New York, will not compete at WJC

Earlier today the NJ Devils decided not to send Jack Hughes to the WJC. The Rangers have just followed suit, and will keep their #1 pick Alexis Lafreniere in New York.

Alexis Lafreniere will stay with the Rangers

TSN’s Darren Dreger broke the news moments ago. “It’s also believed the New York Rangers won’t be releasing Alexis Lafreniere to Team Canada for the World Junior Championship.” he tweeted. “The NHL club wants their 1st overall pick to continue to train locally and focus on his first NHL training camp.”

Updated with Hockey Canada statement:

“After ongoing discussions with the New York Rangers, Hockey Canada has been informed that Alexis Lafrenière will not be released to represent Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton,” Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams for Hockey Canada said in a statement. “Although we are disappointed Alexis will not be able to join our team for World Juniors, we understand and respect the decision made by the Rangers.”

Rangers still waiting on the start date for camps

Alexis Lafreniere Rangers WJC
Lafreniere to remain in NY (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

The New York Rangers like all other teams are awaiting the announcement of when the season will start. Drama continues to unfold today as lawyers for the NHLPA are determining if they should file a lawsuit against the league if they opt to cancel the season.

Stay tuned.