Alexis Lafreniere is the likely 1st overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, but which team needs him the most?
Alexis Lafreniere is likely going to have his name called first at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal. It’s hard not to see why, the 18-year-old is lighting up the QMJHL with the Rimouski Oceanic. At the time of this writing, he has 24 goals and 60 assists in only 39 games. At the recent World Junior Championships, he had four goals and six assists in five games.
Lafreniere is a smooth skater with an excellent shot and a very high hockey IQ.
While many teams are pushing for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there are teams with very slim playoff hopes with fans looking forward to the draft lottery and the draft. This begs the question, which team needs Lafreniere and his services the most?
Detroit Red Wings
Many predicted the Detroit Red Wings to be bad this season. However, nobody expected them to be really bad. At the time of this writing, Detroit sits dead last in the NHL with a 12-36-4 record and only 28 points. That is on pace for only 39 points and only 18 wins. They are likely going to be one of the worst teams ever.
That being said, I think the Detroit Red Wings really need Lafreniere. Winning the draft lottery to be in the position to select the talented prospect would make the suffering Red Wings fans have endured this season worth it.
The Detroit Red Wings have an okay prospect pool. Filip Zadina is still trying to figure out how to adjust his game. Joe Veleno could turn out to be something, as well as German defenseman Moritz Seider. Drafting Lafreniere would, in a way, speed up the Wings’ rebuild but he needs a good supporting cast as well.
The Ottawa Senators already have some young talent. Thomas Chabot is a good young defenseman with a ton of potential. Brady Tkachuk has worked out nicely in Canada’s capital, while Logan Brown is looking to take the next step out of the AHL.
If the Senators get the opportunity to draft Lafreniere then it would mean an accelerated rebuild in Ottawa. Lafreniere would slot in well with the young talent Ottawa has already. He and Tkachuk would look good on a line together on the Senators.
The Senators do look promising and adding Lafreniere would make the future in Ottawa brighter.
It would be quite fitting if the French-Canadian born Lafreniere got drafted by the Montreal Canadiens. After all, he was born in Saint-Eustache, an off-island suburb of Montreal.
The Canadiens aren’t having the best season. They are 22nd in the league with 23 wins and 22 losses for 53 points at the time of writing.
Adding Lafreniere gives the Canadiens another superstar from Quebec and one that could inspire another generation. I would love to see him on a line with Caufield in the future. The Canadiens have some bright young talent already and Lafreniere would the Canadiens a big boost going forward.
New Jersey Devils
I admit (and many others I can guess) that I did not expect to see the New Jersey Devils third last in the entire NHL. After adding Jack Hughes, P.K. Subban, Wayne Simmonds, and Nikita Gusev to the roster last summer, I thought the Devils could actually make the playoffs this season. That prediction is aging like milk.
Many fans won’t like to see the Devils in the draft lottery for the third time in four years but adding Lafreniere to the roster would be a huge improvement.
Hughes isn’t having the best rookie season but having a dynamic winger like Lafreniere could really help him in his sophomore season. The Devils could be a playoff team soon but adding Lafreniere would make the playoffs a reality sooner than later.
Stats courtesy of Eliteprospects.com
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