Lafreniere, No. 1 pick in 2020 Draft, agrees to contract with Rangers


Alexis Lafreniere agreed to terms on an entry-level contract with the New York Rangers on Monday.

The left wing, who turned 19 on Sunday, was the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft after he scored 112 points (35 goals, 77 assists) in 52 games for Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season.

Lafreniere was named the most valuable player of the QMJHL and the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, the first back-to-back winner of each award since Sidney Crosby (2003-05). He was also named the MVP and best forward at the 2020 World Junior Championship, where he helped Canada to a first-place finish.

“It was an unreal feeling,” Lafreniere said during the 2020 draft on Oct. 6. “Obviously, the New York Rangers are a great organization and for me, I’m really honored to join them. When I heard my name, we’ve been waiting for a long time, so it was something really special for me and for my family.”

Lafreniere was the second player chosen No. 1 by the Rangers (Andre Veilleux in 1965) and the first since the universal draft was adopted in 1969, when all junior players of qualifying age were eligible for selection.

“He’s a great talent that has a lot of things going for him,” Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton said. “He’s got skill, skating, shoots. He’s got great vision. He plays hard. He’s got leadership capabilities. He has big-moment capabilities. He’s always come through in clutch times.”

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