Is Alexis Lafrenière a star in the making?

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The New York Rangers may have been knocked out of the playoffs after losing in the Eastern Conference Finals, but even in a losing season there were plenty of positives.

One of these positives is the emergence of 22-year-old forward Alexis Lafrenière. The former first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft saw his production steadily increase over his first three years in the league, but last season was by far his best and it could be the start of big things to come.

Rookie year

56 games played, 12 goals, nine assists and 13:53 time on ice/game.

Second year

79 games played, 19 goals, 12 assists and 13:59 time on ice/game.

Third year

81 games played, 16 goals, 23 assists and 15:13 time on ice/game.

Season 2024

82 games played, 28 goals, 29 assists and 17:16 time on ice/game.

Lafrenière benefited from more ice time by scoring twelve more goals than in the previous season. He also benefited from being aligned with Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck, some of the best playmakers in the league.

Lafrenière was great in the regular season, but where he really excelled was in the postseason.

The winger scored two goals and had seven assists in 27 playoff games over his first three years. His performances skyrocketed in the 2024 playoffs with eight goals and six assists in sixteen games.

He was, to say the least, a man on a mission. It seemed like every time he touched the puck, he did something creative and had a chance to light the lamp.

His eight goals tied for first on the team for the playoffs and placed him fourth in points. He was the best forward for New York in the ECF when some of the team’s big players didn’t show up. Regular season production is necessary, but playoff production is more important and it’s good to see he can show up when it matters most.

The confidence he has going into next season should be through the roof. He was labeled a failure by many people during his first three seasons, but he has silenced the doubters and it looks like he could play a big role for this team.