Rangers Report Cards: Alexis Lafreniere: C (D)
Digging into Lafreniere’s latest season feels like preparing to have a pizza with enticing and not-so-awesome toppings. The guy’s been swinging back and forth like a pendulum, going from games where he’s like a ninja in the shadows and not making an impact to suddenly channeling his inner superhero and claiming the title of “Best Player on Ice.”
Remember when the Rangers scooped up Lafreniere with the first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft like he was the last slice of pizza at a party? Back then, we all thought he’d be scoring goals left and right like they were free samples at the mall.
Yet alas, his stats say otherwise. Last season, Lafreniere had 16 goals and 39 points in 81 games. He has 47 goals and 91 points over his first three seasons, but the inconsistency and the skating issues have held him back from further production.
Lafreniere’s got some moments where he shines like a disco ball under the lights. However, under head coach Gerard Gallant he was shuffled around the Rangers’ lineup like a deck of cards at a poker night. And powerplay chances? Let’s say they were scarcer than finding a unicorn in your backyard.
About that “breakout season,” everyone’s waiting for? It’s been hiding like Waldo in a crowded stadium.
We’re all waiting for the 21-year-old to take the Rangers by storm. We know he has more potential than a seedling in a garden, so it’s about time he blossoms into the team’s go-to guy. And with new head coach Peter Laviolette taking the reins this season, here’s to Lafreniere and the kids receiving more power play and top-six chances than a lottery winner at a slot machine.
Remember when Lafreniere got scratched in January? That was the one game he missed all season. It was like a plot twist in a movie that left us all scratching our heads. However, there’s no reason to panic.
The Rangers are committed to keeping him around like a loyal sidekick in a superhero story. There’s been no talk of trading or letting him go. That said, we’ll have to wait and see what happens with his pending RFA status. The longer this goes, the more it feels like a bridge deal is coming. As for his upcoming season, we hope it all works out like a perfectly baked pizza!