After putting the finishing touches on the K’Andre Miller deal earlier this week, the next step for the New York Rangers is to find a way to get Alexis Lafreniere and his new deal done so there is nothing to worry about as we get into the middle of the summer and enjoy our time away from the mayhem and chaos of an NHL season. Alexis Lafreniere is the final domino to fall for the Blueshirts and the sooner it happens the better.
Lafreniere is the only roster piece that the Rangers have not yet finished dealing with this summer and is the only thing that Chris Drury and company need to get done before enjoying the long summer. This young winger is not only key to the summer, but if he emerges into the player everyone knows he can be, he will likely be the key to success for the New York Rangers next season.
When we look around the league for a comparable to the 21-year-old Quebecois restricted free agent, it seems somewhat ironic that perhaps the most comparable player is his linemate in Kaapo Kakko. Kakko signed a 2-year, $4.2 million deal last summer that gave the Rangers some time until he needs his big boy contract. Lafreniere is in a very similar position to the Finnish wonder kid this summer.
Both players have yet to hit the heights expected of them when they fell in the top two to the New York Rangers. Lafreniere specifically was supposed to be one of the faces of the league because of his dominance in the junior leagues. Specifically, how good he was during his time with the Rimouski Oceanic. He was one of the best prospects we’ve ever seen in the CHL junior leagues.
When we talk about Lafreniere, something that a lot of fans will overlook is his age. Lafreniere is still just 21 years old, he’s already producing at a half-a-point per game rate or close enough to it. This is a player that has the ability to break into the top end of the New York Rangers roster and he’s got the skillset needed for the Blueshirts to be able to promote him up the lineup and aid the ageing top six.