By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The left winger was the top North American skater. He last played for Rimouski Océanic in Québec, Canada.
Lafrenière was drafted by the Rangers just five days before his 19th birthday. He was the Rangers No. 1 overall pick since 1965 when the team drafted Andre Veilleux of the former Montréal Rangers Jr. B team, according to Hockey Reference.
“I’m really excited to join the New York Rangers and can’t wait to see the fans,” Lafrenière said. “I heard a lot of good things about the fans and about the building (Madison Square Garden), so I’m really excited to arrive in New York in the next couple months, maybe. I hope we’re going to have a good season. I’m really honored.”
Lafrenière spent the last three seasons Rimouski Océanic. But that’s going to end, as he is expected to play for the Rangers when the new 2020-21 NHL begins.
This season, he had 35 goals in 52 games with Rimouski Océanic. He also had 77 assists for 112 points.
The Rangers only had two players, who had more than 20 goals on the season. Mike Zibanejad had a team-high 41 goals, while Artemi Panarin also had 32 goals in his first-year in New York after signing with the team as a free agent.
Lafrenière had 114 goals in 173 games with Rimouski Océanic. He had 35 or more goals in all three of his seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The Rangers third leading scorer had 24 goals, while everyone else had less than 20 goals.
Lafrenière will hope to help New York improve on their 37-28-5 record that they had during the 2019-20 season. The Rangers finished with the seventh-best record in the Metropolitan Division.
“I think just 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 the New York jersey … it’s unreal for me.”
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