On June 26th 2020, the National Hockey League announced that the first overall selection in the upcoming entry draft would be going to a team that loses in the qualifying round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Each qualifying team would have a 12.5% chance of getting the first overall pick. The consensus first selection would be Alexis Lafreniere from the Rimouski Oceanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
What will happen if the New York Rangers select Alexis Lafreniere?
If the New York Rangers select Alexis Lafreniere, your top six forward group is set for many years to come. So far the top line with Lafreniere will be Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Alexis Lafreniere. Chris Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich and Kaapo Kakko round out the top six. can be top line and second line players because Lafreniere can play anywhere, he can play left or right wing and he can play center. So basically, if Lafreniere is a center, it will be Artemi Panarin, Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko.
Despite seemingly having their top six forward group set, the Rangers have some flexibility. If they re-sign Lafreniere to a long-term contract, the Rangers could trade Pavel Buchnevich or Lias Andersson because they could clear some potential salary cap issues. The Hartford Wolf Pack will be able to provide talent to fill any gaps in the forward group.
What would be the season like on Alexis Lafreniere's rookie season?
When you add Alexis Lafreniere to the lineup, the New York Rangers have the potential to be the next Detroit Red Wings dynasty. He is a player that can play anywhere, he can play left and right wing or center.
If anything happens to their forwards injury-wise, he can sub that position and have someone play on the left or right wing. Also, the New York Rangers are a team that came out of a two year rebuild and lost in the qualifying round because most of the players on the team haven't played an NHL playoff game. They need to lose before they win, they're not going to be a team that just came out of a rebuild and go deep in the playoffs. With Lafreniere, they might finish 2nd and 3rd in the Metro division and probably be out in the 2nd round and once Lafreniere is in his 2nd or 3rd season, they're going all-in to try to win a Stanley Cup.
So far, they have a fantastic and bright future and have awesome young players like Artemi Panarin, a MVP level forward, Kaapo Kakko is an upcoming elite forward, Mika Zibanejad is a number one right wing and Tony DeAngelo, Jacob Trouba, Marc Staal, and Ryan Lindgren are the top four defensemans for the New York Rangers.
Finally, their goaltending with Igor Sheshterkin and Alexander Georgiev are young star goaltenders when Henrik Lundqvist makes a departure from the Rangers.