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Alexis Lafreniere, Rangers agree to 2-year, $4.65 million deal

Alexis Lafreniere
Alexis Lafreniere (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
AP Photos

The New York Rangers and winger Alexis Lafreniere have agreed to a two-year, $4.56 million deal, the team announced on Thursday morning.

This is a bridge deal for the 21-year-old former No. 1 pick, who has yet to meet the lofty expectations set upon his shoulders when the Rangers won the lottery for him in 2020. 

In 81 games last season, he recorded 16 goals with a career-high 39 points, but the production is still noticeably limited for a young talent of his stature. His 82-game averages over his three seasons in the league sit at just 17 goals and 16 assists. 

Rangers head out west
New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) celebrates his third-period goal against the Detroit Red Wings with left wing Alexis Lafrenière, left, during an NHL hockey game Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)AP Photos

The hope within the organization is that new head coach Peter Laviolette will provide more of an opportunity for Lafreniere than he received under previous head coach Gerard Gallant. He averaged just 14:37 of ice time over the last two years, including the 2022-23 campaign on a kid line that also featured Kaapo Kakko and Filip Chytil — a group that has shown plenty of promise. The trio’s 31 goals last season were the most of any singular unit recorded by the Rangers, per MoneyPuck

Whether or not they will stick together under Laviolette remains to be seen, but Lafreniere certainly is going to get a fair shake in earning more ice time to potentially unlock the next step of his professional development. 

“Those young players do need an opportunity to grow,” Laviolette said when he was hired in June. “They have to be — not given (anything) — but given an opportunity to grow… Everyone wants to feel that responsibility… Those conversations will be had.”

The two-year deal allows Lafreniere the chance to not only prove to the organization that he can grow into a franchise cornerstone but that he’ll be legitimately compensated should that day come.

For more on Alexis Lafreniere and the Rangers, visit AMNY.com

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