Former No. 1 overall pick Alexis Lafreniere has signed a two-year contract worth $4.65 million with the New York Rangers, the team announced on Wednesday. Lafreniere was a restricted free agent, and both sides had been working throughout the summer to get a deal done.
The top pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, Lafreniere has taken some time to find his groove at the NHL level. However, seems to have settled into a middle-six role with the Rangers. Over the last two seasons, Lafreniere has totaled 35 goals, 33 assists and 70 points in 160 games.
The question now is whether Lafreniere will be able to elevate his game above that level. Lafreniere is still only 21, and this two-year deal will give him the chance to prove himself and get a much larger contract in 2025.
This past season, Lafreniere often played on the Rangers’ third line with Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko. Those three are all under the age of 24 and combined for 124 points in 2022-23. In order for the Rangers to take another step closer to the Stanley Cup, it will be key for that young trio to continue their development.
Prior to this deal, Lafreniere was one of the biggest restricted free agents left without a contract. Anaheim Ducks forward Trevor Zegras, who has 49 goals and 139 points in 180 career games, remains the most notable unsigned RFA.