June 28, 2020
Alexis Lafreniere has the eyes of 16 teams on him at the moment. (Photo: Vincent Ethier / CHL)
Since the “mystery team” won the NHL Draft Lottery last Friday night, a group of teams have fans debating whether it would be better to lose the qualifying round. This is because all eight teams that are eliminated will have a 12.5% chance of gaining generational talent Alexis Lafreniere with the number one choice. It’s a weird conversation, but we’re talking about a decent landing shot for a franchise player who might have the offensive potential of a Sidney Crosby. What is your position? Let’s discuss.
Who is NHL Prospect Alexis Lafreniere?
Alexis Lafreniere is an LW out of QMJHL, oddly enough for the same team Sidney Crosby played for, the Rimouski Oceanic. The kid has hands, vision, skating agility, speed, high hockey IQ and a great shot on top of all that. He is by far the number one choice in this draft.
“In my opinion, he is already one of the best players in the world, so he will step in,” said NHL Central Scouting senior manager David Gregory. “Unless something really dramatic happens, he will go to a team that needs immediate help.”
David Gregory, NHL Central Scouting
Well, the dramatic thing happened and a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs, if eliminated, could add Lafreniere who scored 112 points in 52 games to his stacked lineup. I mean, can you imagine Lafreniere playing with John Tavares or Auston Matthews outside the door? That is why 16 “play-in” teams are having this debate.
The Rangers: Cup Run or a shot at Lafreniere
Let’s be clear on this, no matter what happens, the Rangers are going to test the playoff experience even if they lose to Carolina. However, this is not an ordinary tiebreaker. All of these teams won’t have played a single game in over three months, so throw those records out the door. All teams are starting again and, most importantly, healthy. The Blueshirts, as a prime example, will have a healthy Chris Kreider ready to go after fracturing his foot against the Philadelphia Flyers. And don’t forget that, in the final stretch, the Rangers were one of the best teams in the NHL.
Imagine it, Igor Shesterkin returns and resumes his red-hot game where he won 10 of the 12 games he started. Mika Zibanejad continues his steamy scoring pace where he scored 14 goals in his last 10 games. If Artemi Panarin simply continues his Broadway Breadman routine as he has throughout the season, this Rangers team could go on to have a Cup race that we haven’t seen since 2014. Hell, they could even do what that team did. didn’t … win everything.
So now that you have the two possible “what if” scenarios, what would you like to see? A Cup race that could see the Stanley Cup in the hands of children like Kaapo Kakko, Adam Fox and Igor Shesterkin? Or an early departure and a 12.5% chance of a player that the world says is the best prospect in Alexis Lafreniere? It’s up to you.
Tags: Alexis LaFreniere New York Rangers NHL draft lottery
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