1 would be setting a post-lockout precedent. 1 pick and the chance to nab consensus top prospect Alexis Lafreniere. Follow us for breaking news and latest updates. https://t.co/5gDvmWkiAT pic.twitter.com/vWZJdbrU8v, After being selected first-overall, Alexis Lafreniere puts on an @NYRangers jersey for the first time. The pipeline is loaded with defense prospects and goalies, and former first-round picks Filip Chytil and Brett Howden, plus Swedish playmaker Karl Henriksson, gives the organization balance down the middle. Alexis Lafreniere was the consensus number one overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The idea that a center with size and skill trumps a winger of any size or skill is tough to justify when you consider five of the NHL’s top-10 scorers from this past season – Panarin, Nikita Kucherov, Patrick Kane, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak – are listed as six feet tall or under, whereas the five remaining scorers were big-bodied centers – Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, Nathan MacKinnon, and Auston Matthews. Otherwise, the rest of the numbers are the same. As for Jovanovski, the big blueliner was the centerpiece of the package sent to vancouver for Pavel Bure in January of 1999. “I wouldn’t want to give away exactly what is going to happen. As for Stefan and Brendl, both became busts for the Thrashers and Rangers, respectively, and neither team qualified for the playoffs for several seasons thereafter. As for Jovanovski, the big blueliner was the centerpiece of the package sent to vancouver for Pavel Bure in January of 1999. We are not affiliated with the NHL, New York Rangers or Madison Square Garden. I could see the Kings being closer to Lafreniere’s Schedule “A” Bonus, but they won’t match it. League production: Lafreniere was the leading scorer in the QMJHL with a 2.15 points-per-game average. Knowing that, let’s take a look at the few times in NHL draft history where this option was a possibility. 1 draft spot and the chance to draft scoring winger Rick Nash, they did end up drafting Jay Bouwmeester, who went on to have a successful career in South Florida. Both are under 30 years of age and under contract for at least two more seasons. Vancouver’s intent was to draft the Sedins as a package deal, and Atlanta GM Don Waddell, who had the second pick in the draft but wanted Stefan, was willing to trade down one spot with Vancouver at the low cost of a conditional third-round pick the following season. They just drafted Finnish sniper Kaapo Kakko after winning the second pick in last year’s lottery. Since Lafreniere was born late in 2001, he was eligible to play in the 2018 competition, whereas Byfield, born in 2002, played in 2019. 8 — forward Sergei Samsonov — was expected to be available after the Islanders made their two selections with the fourth and fifth pick. No, your eyes are not deceiving you. 1, which in this case would be Lafreniere, has to be either And the over-drafting of Lias Andersson at seventh overall in 2017 was summed up best by scouting director Gordie Clark, who stated “we really needed a certain kind of player to add into our organization, and this guy’s work ethic…he’s got the combination of the grit and ability we’ve been looking for.” So if drafting for need in the top 10 or 15 is a process full of incredible risk, then you can only imaging the long-term blowback from doing the same with a first overall pick. It should also be noted that the last two GM’s to do so – Tampa’s Jacques Demers in 1999 and Florida’s Rick Dudley in 2002 and 2003 – were fired within two years of making such moves. Although the Panthers traded out of the No. It’s been over 20 years since the last time an NHL team owned two of the first five picks in the draft. Others see it differently, however, as several factors can lead one to believe that the Rangers will not only receive lucrative offers from the majority of NHL teams, but that several teams with an abundance of assets can make it impossible for Gorton, team president Joh Davidson, and even owner James Dolan, to resist. It hasn’t been done since 2003, and the Rangers would not only have to sell the return to owners, but also to new season ticket holders who bought packages thinking they’ll be watching Lafreniere next season. 1 pick for such a package has yet to graduate from the planning or discussion phase to actual execution in almost two decades, and for good measure. Sticking to ownership’s edict of building a contending team, Demers was able to ship the No. 3 and winger Daniel Dore at No. There is far more risk involved in passing on Lafreniere for the sake of adding an extra prospect or two. With his extraordinary skating abilities, quick hands, and incredible hockey sense, but Quinton Byfield is another name to look out for. What does that mean for LA Kings‘ second overall pick, Quinton Byfield? Alexis Lafreniere was the consensus number one overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. In any event, Tampa was willing to move the pick because they had little interest in Stefan. 1 to No. The primary difference between the two contracts is the Schedule “A” and “B” Bonuses. We haven’t had the luxury of doing an interview with Alexis until we had the good fortune of winning the lottery. The deal was simple – Florida moves from No. The bottom line is that neither player has either a red flag or injury concern valid enough to hold water in a player-vs-player debate. In line with all 1st overall picks, Alexis Lafreniere's deal with the #Rangers is set at the EL max, $925k caphit$3.775M AAV$11.325M total value, $832,500 Base Salary (all 3 yrs)$92,500 Signing Bonus (all 3 yrs)$850k Sched 'A' Bonus (all 3 yrs)$2M Sched 'B' Bonus (all 3 yrs) https://t.co/Vm819WHPag, — CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) October 12, 2020. In an era where goaltending and tight checking reigned supreme, the lure of adding a scoring center like Stefan was significant, just as much as it was to acquire premier 1999 draft prospects Daniel and Henrik Sedin as a package deal. allegedly would not release his client’s medical records to inquiring GM’s. 2 pick in 2020. 1, which in this case would be Lafreniere, has to be either matched or overtaken by someone else in key statistical categories; matched or outplayed in a tournament or head-to-head matchups; or suffer from a red flag or two (injuries, personal issues, etc.) Florida in 1994 owned the top pick after they selected center Rob Niedermayer the previous year, and all signs pointed to the expansion Panthers going for the defenseman. Red flags/injuries: Neither player has been found to have any issues in terms of coachability, work ethic, or concerns off the ice. The NHL Draft had a different feel to it with selections being made by masked personnel virtually. You see, the Panthers already acquired a young Roberto Luongo from the Islanders several years prior and were not keen on using the top selection on goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who was compared to Martin Brodeur and like Luongo, viewed as a potential superstar. In a conference call with Rangers beat writers on Monday evening, Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton gave little insight into what he had planned to do with the first pick. Commissioner Gary Bettman made an announcement about next season targeting a Jan 1st start. In the end, the only true winner from these moves was Vancouver, which came away with the Sedin twins. The @NHL and @NHLPA announce target date for 2020-21 season. The level of uncertainty surrounding the 1999 draft crop was higher than in previous years for several reasons. This logic might brief well, but in the end, it’s an easy one to shoot down. More on that in a minute. Another argument being thrown around that tries to rationalize the Rangers trading down or passing on Lafreniere is their perceived weakness at center beyond Zibanejad. Every year seems to have a “who’s No. This is a video-game scenario that has picked up steam on the blogosphere for some time, but the fact remains — no team has ever traded out of the first overall pick in the salary cap era. So a contract between $10.8M and $11M would seem reasonable. that raises doubts about his potential. As a Canuck, Jovanovski became one of the game’s top defenders, so Smyth vs. Jovanovski debate would be an interesting one. There was little doubt that center “Jumbo” Joe Thornton would be the first pick in the 1997 draft; a situation similar to that of Lafreniere. First of all, trading down from No. Thus, Tampa Bay under the command of GM Jacques Demers were no longer interested in rebuilding and wanted to challenge for a playoff spot in 1999-2000. Lafreniere not only tied for the tournament lead in scoring (11 points in 5 games), but he also helped Canada win gold. Unfortunately for the Panthers, they finished with a worse record than Columbus in 2002-03, thus making the swap condition irrelevant. 3 pick. 1 pick since he was by far and away the top North American-trained rearguard. In 2006 and 2008, they grabbed offensive defensemen Bobby Sanguinetti and Michael Del Zotto, respectively, to address a hole left by the trade of Brian Leetch in 2004. The Kings have just as deep a farm system as the Rangers or the Senators, except theirs is loaded with centers. Lafreniere is the number one overall pick, and the pay should reflect the status. 3. As you can see, from a draft resume standpoint, Lafreniere is the clear-cut winner. Byfield had only one assist in seven games while serving on the fourth line. Both parties were given high marks at the time of the trade, although neither Samuelsson nor the extra second rounder (journeyman Stefan Meyer) gave the Panthers much in return. First off, it’s no mystery that the Blueshirts already own one of the NHL’s deepest prospect pools. NHL Draft: Alexis Lafreniere goes first overall followed by Quinton Byfield, and Tim Stuetzle Bonsignore never made it past 79 games but Smyth was an excellent choice and played in 1270 NHL games. Artemi Panarin, who like Lafreniere plays left wing, was one of the league’s top scorers, and center Mika Zibanejad was fifth in goal scoring with a career-best 41 tallies. But that’s exactly the scenario the Ottawa Senators currently find themselves in thanks to the results of the Phase 1 lottery, which rewarded them with the third and fifth picks in the upcoming NHL draft. The 1994 draft wasn’t considered as deep as the 1993 group, but defenseman Ed Jovanovski was viewed as a prime candidate for the No. Your favorite teams, topics, and players all on your favorite mobile devices. No matter what the offer, the New York Rangers can’t pass on drafting Alexis Lafreniere Quinton Byfield and Alexis Lafreniere are two big players in this draft (Getty Images) It’s been over 20 years since the last time an NHL team owned two of the first five picks in the draft. 1 pick for the first time since 1965, and that pick undoubtedly will be Lafreniere. Additionally, the Rangers own Carolina’s first-round pick in 2020 via the Brady Skjei deal, plus extra mid-round picks in the 2021 draft and the benefit of losing three hefty veteran contracts within the next year. The CBA states that this particular bonus may not exceed $212,500 per individual bonus and $850,000 in total for “A” and $2M in aggregate total for “B.”. Since both Lafreniere (QMJHL) and Byfield (OHL) are Canadian-trained forwards playing in the CHL, this type of line-by-line comparison is easier to execute than say, a European defenseman versus a North American forward. Second, the Rangers have a checkered history of drafting for need under the guise of “best player available.” They drafted goalies in the top 10 in Dan Blackburn (2001) and Al Montoya (2004) in an attempt to find Mike Richter’s successor. #NHLDraft | #NHLonSN pic.twitter.com/hp9dWvxc46, ‼️ Awesome Moment Alert ‼️Alex Trebek announces the @Senators 3rd overall pick, Tim Stuetzle! #NHLDraft | #NHLonSN pic.twitter.com/mqv3xonhcP. The Rangers are expected to be armed with cap flexibility to go along with hyper-competitive battles at every position and at every level, in addition to already possessing a bonus first-round pick in 2020. But could there be an offer too good to pass up? 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