The New York Rangers Chosen Left-wing Alexis Lafreniere of the QMJHL’s Rimouski Oceanic Together with the first pick from the 2020 NHL draft on Tuesday. The Rangers hadn’t chosen using the first overall choice in the entry draft age, which started in 1979.
Lafreniere, that will turn 19 on Sunday, was the ninth-best prospect in this draft course once he assembled a brilliant and decorated season between Rimouski at a shortened season and Team Canada in the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship.
“Growing up, you are dreaming about being drafted. And for me now, it is wonderful to go first,” Lafreniere said. “I am quite honored.”
The 6-foot-1, 192-pound winger defeated mid-tournament harm to lead Canada to the gold medal in the World Junior Championship, scoring 10 points in five matches on the best way to earning MVP honors.
A forwards with an unusual mixture of elite ability and physicality, Lafreniere continues to be one of the most prized prospects of this 2001 arrival year for a while. He was the QMJHL’s newcomer of the season in his first time in 2017-18, and he’ll complete his career in Quebec’s top junior circuit with 297 points in 173 games.
“Now I woke up, and that I was very excited, and I just got prepared for the selection,” Lafreniere said. “I am only somewhat speechless.”
Lafreniere represents one of the end bits to the reconstruct puzzle for the Rangers, who have constructed among the strongest potential pools at the NHL over the previous 3 seasons. Lafreniere will join a roster that contains a Hart Trophy finalist at Artemi Panarin, among the very promising goalies from the sport in Igor Shesterkin and a season’s No. 2 overall pick on the wing, Kaapo Kakko.
The Rangers got the best choice in the draft following the Carolina Hurricanes swept them from this qualification round of the NHL’s postseason. New York was one of eight removed teams using a 12.5% chance to earn the No. 1 overall selection.
In No. 3, the Ottawa Senators picked forward Tim Stutzle of all Germany.
The Rangers, who had the No. 22 overall selection, chose to cope that slot into the Calgary Flames to maneuver up after Tuesday. New York delivered No. 22 and also a third-round option, No. 72, to Calgary to get No. 19 total.
The Rangers — tucked between 2 collections of the opponents, the New Jersey Devils in Nos. 18 and 20 — picked Canadian defenseman Braden Schneider at the place.
Rounds 2-7 of the draft is going to be held Wednesday.