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Alexis Lafreniere

Oct 11, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Alexis Lafreniere (13) smiles during the third period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Alexis Lafreniere Is A Bust

Alexis Lafreniere
Oct 11, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Alexis Lafreniere (13) smiles during the third period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Alexis Lafreniere Is A Bust

Someone had to say it. Alexis Lafreniere was a huge swing and miss by the Rangers. The former number one pick was a healthy scratch in last night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. This is simply a point of no return. It’s his third season. Everyone thought he had superstar potential. Obviously, the scoring numbers in juniors was there. He has an NHL-level frame at 6-foot-2 and 193 pounds. I’m sure that there is talent in there somewhere. The guy simply hasn’t been able to put it together.

Right now, he seems like a middle-six winger at best. 19 goals and 31 points in a full season are simply not enough. Part of it is his own fault and the other part is the Rangers. But now, we need to ask ourselves if a fresh start is the best move for all parties involved. His rookie deal expires this summer and I’m sure that there are teams who would be willing to take a chance on him. As well, the Rangers need assets and a way to find more scoring depth if they want to take the next step after their surprising 2022 season.

The Rangers Screwed It Up

The Rangers fell into the #1 pick in 2020. They had a 2.5% chance after COVID hit and it somehow went their way. And I think, at that time, every GM in the league would have taken him first overall. However, I am sure the Rangers would now rather have lucked into the #3 or #4 spot instead first. Imagine how much better this team would be if they had Lucas Raymond instead of Lafreniere? A right handed winger would fit seamlessly into that Top Six. This brings me to my next point.

He was doomed from the start in New York. Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider were already keeping the left-winger spots warm. How do you expect this guy to develop into a high-level player when he can’t get minutes in his favored position? We could also do a completely different post on how Kaapo Kakko is a bust too. Imagine if the hometown kid Trevor Zegras was playing at MSG every night?

The Fact Of The Matter

But that’s not the point. The point is the Rangers have egg on their face. This was supposed to be the year their young talent takes the next step and really catapults them to the top of the Eastern Conference. Instead, they’re in a dogfight for the last Wild Card spots. The Rangers continue to be the same top-heavy team with great goaltending. If these young guys panned out, it would have been dangerous. Instead, Chris Drury is left with a ticking time bomb that he’s gotta make a decision on soon.

Looking back, we should have seen the red flags. Alexis Lafreniere is a guy with a lot of talent but not in the ideal situation. In all honesty, I don’t even know who can figure him out. On the one hand, do rebuilders like Chicago or Anaheim make the call? But on the other hand, do contenders try to make a stealthy move to add him to their lineup? All in all, I think we can call this situation a disaster. Lafreniere is a bust and the Rangers need to figure out the next steps.

SHOP!

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Abra

Excellent article, after watching him play live i knew he was nothing special.
Somewhat agree with Kakkos point to.
Team has horrible scouting and young player development is horrible.

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