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.