3. Alexis Lafrenière
Alexis Lafrenière was once a lock to be a star player in the NHL, now signing him to a second contract has become a gamble for the Rangers. Lafrenière was drafted first overall in 2020 by the Rangers and since then he has played in 216 NHL games putting up 47 goals and 91 points over the course of the three seasons.
Lafrenière has barely been able to crack the top six in that time and has basically become a third liner up to this point in his career, while that might seem like a good trajectory for an NHLer, for someone drafted first overall that is not a success.
This past season Lafrenière was ninth on the Rangers in points and seventh in goals, this upcoming season he needs to be more productive offensively. Lafrenière needs to be the top six player the Rangers expected when they drafted him, or at the very least a third liner that can provide a heck of a lot of depth scoring.
Lafrenière should be benefitting by playing in the bottom six the past few years. That means the opponents top defensemen are giving him better matchups as they try to defend the team’s top stars, yet he only managed to put up 16 goals this past season.
Hopefully this upcoming season will be a breakout year for Alexis Lafrenière. While there are a lot of bigger stars on this team, the season really does hinge on him finding his game, because if he can’t that will be one heck of a wasted asset for the team.