The Alexis Lafreniere Era is ready to begin after the Rangers top pick got a late 19th birthday present by signing his entry level contract on Monday. AP Photo credit Newsday via Getty Images by Mike Stobe.
Yesterday, Alexis Lafreniere and the Rangers made it official. The recent top pick in last week’s NHL Draft signed his entry level contract (ELC) with the club who lucked into the first overall pick due to the unpredictable two part NHL Lottery this past summer.
The three-year ELC pays Lafreniere $2.775 million. That includes salary bonuses he can earn. As far as the Rangers salary cap structure, the young left wing will be a $925,000 cap charge over his first NHL contract. Here’s how the salary can break down:
Base Salary: $832,500 $832,500 $832,500
Signing Bonuses: $92,500 $92,500 $92,500
Total Salary: $925,000 $925,000 $925,000
Minors Salary: $80,000 $80,000 $80,000
Performance Bonuses: $2.85 million $2.85 million $2.85 million
AAV: $3.775 million $3.775 million $3.775 million
Basically, the performance bonuses can increase his salary. Something you see with most top picks. Assuming he performs up to expectations, Lafreniere will produce well enough for the Rangers to lock him up to one of those huge long-term deals we’ve seen with superstars such as Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, etc.
Think of the signing as a birthday present for Lafreniere, who turned 19 on Sunday. Happy Birthday kid! He will wear number 13 for the Rangers. Hopefully, it’s a very lucky 13. Not many Blueshirts have worn it. The only good player I can think of is Stanley Cup winner Sergei Nemchinov. There have been others. Now, it belongs to our top pick. Wow.
The only conclusion I can make is hopefully, that number is never worn by another Blueshirt. A pretty simple wish.
Let’s take a look at some of Lafreniere’s best highlights.
I like not only his game breaking speed, but how quick he snaps it. Good usage of the wrist shot through traffic. A deceptive backhand which is always tough for a goalie to pick up. This kind of high skill player comes around very rarely. He’s unselfish and will help improve Kaapo Kakko, who could benefit if they play together.
In last week’s interview with the legendary Sam Rosen of MSG, we get to see a different side of Lafreniere. He’s a very mature and well spoken young player who understands the expectations of becoming a professional hockey player. It’s going to be a transition for him, but he wants to get better and made certain to point out that his goal is not only to improve, but help the Rangers win the Stanley Cup. The ultimate dream for any Canadian kid.
Here, we see the unique speed and skill of Lafreniere on display. He picks up seven points in a Rimouski Oceanic win over the Quebec Remparts. Two goals and five assists. When you’re that good, sometimes the puck magically finds you as it did on one of his goals. He had three cracks at it. My favorite goals were off the rush where he used his game breaking speed to back up opponents and find the seam for open teammates. That’s the makings of a great player. It sure will be exciting to watch him play in NYC. Even if it’s in a bubble (rumored) for the first part of next year.
Lafreniere wore number 11 for Rimouski. That’s not possible as a Ranger due to some guy named Mark Messier. So, it’ll be number 13 selling out quickly. There’s much to look forward to. We will be waiting in anticipation for January 2021.