Rangers sign No. 1 pick Alexis Lafreniere to entry-level contract


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The New York Rangers and Alexis Lafreniere wasted no time coming to terms on their first contract agreement. On Monday, the team announced that they have signed the No. 1 draft pick to a three-year, entry-level contract. The deal is for $925,000 annually, which is the maximum salary that rookies can accrue under the current collective bargaining agreement.

In addition, the team also announced that Lafreniere — the Rangers’ first No. 1 overall pick in the entry draft era — will wear No. 13 for the Rangers. 

Lafreniere was rated as the top prospect in the 2020 NHL Draft by just about all major scouting analysts. He has spent the last three seasons starring for Rimouski Océanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The 19-year-old star was the No. 1 pick in the 2017 QMJHL Draft and burst onto the scene with 42 goals in 60 games. 

To put that into perspective, Lafreniere had the highest number of goals in a rookie season since Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby scored 54 for Rimouski Oceanic in 2004. In his three seasons in the QMJHL, Lafreniere accumulated 297 points (114 goals and 183 assists) and blossomed into one of the most dangerous young players in the world. 

In addition, Lafreniere won the Canadian Hockey Player of the Year award in back-to-back seasons before being selected by the Rangers. He averaged 2.15 points per game for Rimouski Océanic, which was the highest CHL average since Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid averaged 2.50 points per game during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Rangers are going to look different next season. On top adding Lafreniere, the team bought out veteran goaltender Henrik Lundqvist’s contract and he landed with the Washington Capitals in free agency. The team is expected to move forward with 24-year old netminder Igor Shesterkin between the pipes.

Lafreniere joins a young core that includes the likes of Artemi Panarin and 2019 No. 2 pick Kaapo Kakko.





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