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Alexis Lafreniére Would Provide A Spark

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Wings need a spark. They need a player who can move the needle on the rebuild....

Alexis Lafreniére is regarded as the top talent in the draft. The 18-year-old is a smooth-skating left winger out of Rimouski Oceanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League who packed 35 goals and 77 assists into 52 games. That performance earned him the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year award for the second straight season; Sidney Crosby (another Rimouski Oceanic product) is the only other player to win the award back-to-back.

Lafreniére isn’t in the same echelon as Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews, but he’s a top-line forward who would add depth to a team as desperate as the Wings. Lafreniére's late birthday left him ineligible for last year’s draft by less than a month; he turns 19 on Oct. 11. He could step onto the ice with the Wings in 2020-21 and give them a scoring option beyond Mantha, Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi and Robby Fabbri.

The Wings have gradually sunk in the standings over the past four years, dropping from 25th in 2016-17 to 27th in 2017-18 to 28th in 2018-19 to rock bottom this season. Lafreniére would accelerate their climb toward the playoff picture.


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WingedRider's avatar

Really HSJ???  What a Hockey Expert, NOT

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/26/20 at 10:44 AM ET

d ca's avatar

Another HSJ article that goes along with the saying, “No $h!t Sherlock.”

Wow Detroit hasn’t gotten a generational talent (who are only acquired 1st overall or after they hit free agency which rarely happens) —I agree the insight is astounding.

I would add that any player in the top 4 is going to become an important piece of the rebuild—just like the missing Zadina from her scorers list next year—-but that the number 1 pick is going to help out more quickly than the others (in addition to having a higher ceiling). Or does she have some insight that Zadina is being shopped for young defensive or young goaltending help and that’s why she didn’t list him with the MLB line or Fabbri?  Because that would be news.

Posted by d ca on 06/26/20 at 11:49 AM ET

WingedRider's avatar

LaFreniere is sort of like McDavid, not saying they are the same.  LaFreniere just seems to enjoy hockey and he makes it look easy.  He seems to have a good attitude and would be a great fit with a bunch of young guys.

I am sure most fans and players say “How did he do that” but for him he seems to have a sense what is going to happen 4 or 5 plays ahead of others.  I really like , he makes the other players on the team better , much better.

I want the #1 pick Damn It!!!  But Stevie Y might go with someone else at #1. I am certainly going to be on pins and needles , at least for the Wings first pick.  Just a guess but I would think LaFreniere would not be too excited with going to a team with a Looney Tunes owner.

Will see soon!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/26/20 at 12:45 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

The Wings don’t need a spark, they need a full-blown conflagration

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 06/26/20 at 02:17 PM ET


But Stevie Y might go with someone else at #1.


Posted by BaromirBragr on 06/26/20 at 03:29 PM ET


If the wings get #1 they should trade to Ottawa for both theirs. That’s how you jump start the team!

Posted by peacefrog4491 on 06/26/20 at 08:11 PM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com