Free washer | Alexis Lafrenière has not said his last word…

Alexis Lafrenière scored his 25e goal of the season against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. He got it in spectacular fashion with a hat trick, his first in his career.

Lafrenière now has 52 points in 75 games with the Rangers. If he keeps up the pace, he could reach 27 goals and 57 points. This is not ordinary for a young man of 22 years old.

We almost agreed that the choice of Lafrenière, drafted first overall in 2020, constituted an error on the part of the Rangers and its former administration led by Jeff Gorton, today with the Canadian.

However, it takes at least five years, sometimes even six or seven, before passing a verdict on a vintage. The Quebecer is not yet producing at the pace of Stützle, Raymond or Jarvis, but the gap is narrowing.

Production in 2023-2024

  • 1- Alexis Lafrenière, NY Rangers: 75 games/25 goals, 52 points
  • 2- Quinton Byfield, Los Angeles: 72 games/19 goals, 53 points
  • 3- Tim Stützle, Ottawa: 73 games/18 goals, 69 points
  • 4- Lucas Raymond, Detroit: 75 games/25 goals, 61 points
  • 5- Jake Sanderson, Ottawa: 70 games/8 goals, 32 points (defender)
  • 6- Jamie Drysdale, Anaheim: 28 games/3 goals, 10 points (defender)
  • 7- Alexander Holtz, New Jersey: 74 games/16 goals, 27 points
  • 8- Jack Quinn, Buffalo: 20 games/5 goals, 12 points
  • 9- Marco Rossi, Minnesota: 73 games/20 goals, 37 points
  • 10- Cole Perfetti, Winnipeg: 67 games/17 goals, 35 points
  • 11- Yaroslav Askarov: American League (guardian)
  • 12- Anton Lundell, Florida: 71 games/9 goals, 29 points
  • 13- Seth Jarvis, Carolina: 75 games/29 goals, 62 points
  • 14- Dylan Holloway, Edmonton: 32 games/3 goals, 4 points (demoted AHL)
  • 15- Rodion Amirov, Toronto: Deceased
  • 16- Kaiden Guhle, Montreal: 68 games/6 goals, 21 points (defender)
  • 17- Lukas Reicher, Chicago: 57 games/4 goals, 13 points
  • 18- Dawson Mercer, New Jersey: 74 games/19 goals, 31 points
  • 19- Braden Schneider, NY Rangers: 75 games/4 goals, 17 points (defender)
  • 20- Shakir Mukhamadullin, New Jersey: American League (defender)

Lafrenière did not cross the 40-point mark in his first three seasons in the National Hockey League. In his defense, he played for a competitive club and usually found himself relegated to the third line with two other youngsters, Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko. He played less than 14 minutes on average in his first two years. He is playing 17 this year as part of the second trio with Vincent Trocheck and Artemi Panarin.

Stützle was playing for a rebuilding club in Ottawa. He got 15:44 in his first year, 18:25 in his second and has played more than 21 minutes for two years. Raymond found himself on a second line in his first season in Detroit.

Third overall pick in 2011, Jonathan Huberdeau, a winger like Lafrenière, was slow to explode offensively, even though he won the Calder Trophy in his first season for his 31 points in 48 games. He reached the 60-point mark in his sixth season, with highs of 92 points in his seventh year and 115 points in his tenth.

Proof that we must wait at least half a decade if not more before deciding, defender Brock Faber, drafted in the second round by the Los Angeles Kings, was not considered among the best of his vintage a year ago .

One of the two Calder Trophy candidates this year with Connor Bedard would perhaps be the first overall pick if we were to redo the draft today, with his 41 points and 25 minutes of use. Stützle, the undisputed first in class last year with 90 points, saw his rating drop slightly this year.

His teammate, defender Jake Sanderson, would undoubtedly be drafted a few ranks higher. What can we say about Quinton Byfield, in Los Angeles, who is finally emerging this winter. If the Kings hadn’t stupidly traded Faber to the Wild, they would have found themselves with an extraordinary haul, although Faber and a first-round pick in 2022 allowed them to get their hands on a top-line winger, Kevin Fiala.

Another forward, Seth Jarvis, would end up at the top. He scored 29 goals this season as part of the Hurricanes’ top line. They received an unexpected gift from the Maple Leafs, this 13e total choice to allow Toronto to get rid of Patrick Marleau and his contract…

The Canadian did well with Kaiden Guhle at 16e rank. If he had to do it again, Guhle would probably be chosen in the top eight.

A record for Sidney Crosby


Sydney Crosby

Sidney Crosby just joined the legendary Wayne Gretzky with a 19e consecutive season of one point or more per game, picking up three points against the Rangers on Monday. He now has 82 points in 74 games this season, at 36 years old.

This mark speaks volumes about his durability and talent. And Crosby is not just a scorer, but also a tremendous leader, a hard worker, a winner.

With 1,584 points in 1,264 games, two Hart Trophies awarded to the MVP, two Conn-Smythes awarded to the best player in the playoffs, three Stanley Cups, Crosby will enter the legend when he retires among the five greatest players in history.

The Penguins have just won three of their last four games. They are within five points of the Washington Capitals and the final playoff spot, but they have eight games remaining and the Capitals nine. They are also five points behind the Red Wings but with two games in hand.


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