The New York Rangers selected Alexis Lafrenière with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, which took place virtually for the first time.
Lafrenière, who turns 19 on Oct. 11, is the first Quebec-born player to be selected with the top pick since Marc-Andre Fleury in 2003.
“Exceptionally smart player with top-end speed and pull-away gear,” is how NHL Central Scouting describes Lafrenière. “Great at carrying the puck and leading rushes. Executes under pressure and has great vision and anticipation – very good quickness with the puck and exceptional ability to change speed. Elite puck skills and vision to create plays in the offensive zone.”
During his three seasons with the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL, Lafrenière posted 297 points in 173 games and took home two MVP awards. This past season he recorded 35 goals and 112 points in 52 games and lead the league in assists (77) and points. The winger won gold and tournament MVP honors with Canada at the 2020 World Junior Championship, where he scored four goals and 10 points in five games.
“Throwing on a Rangers jersey, it’s pretty amazing,” Lafrenière said. “Growing up you dream of being drafted in the NHL and just being able to have an NHL jersey, and especially a New York jersey, it’s really unreal for me.”
The Rangers won Phase 2 of the draft lottery in August, giving them the chance to take Lafrenière first overall. He’s a huge piece to add as the franchise is on an upward trajectory.