Former First-overall Pick Healthy Scratched: Trade Rumours Picking Up

Published December 30, 2022 at 5:45 PM

Sometimes first-overall (so-called sure bet) picks take some time to develop. The New York Rangers are discovering that this season. Alexis Lafreniere has not dazzled the NHL as was first perceived.

He has collected 36 goals, 33 assists in 171 NHL games and that for a first overall pick is not great. Just comparing him to others in his draft class shows how disappointing Lafreneire's lack of production really is.

Quinton Byfield drafted by the L.A. Kings #2, is another player experts thought would take the NHL by storm. Yet, he has just five goals, nine assists in 56 NHL games.

But, the third overall selection in 2020, Tim Stutzle has done really well. He has 46 goals, 71 assists in 163 games. Then, Lucas Raymond picked fourth by the Detroit Red Wings has 31 goals, 46 assists in 116 games.

Could it be that both the first and second overall picks of 2020 could be big disappointments?

Getting back to Lafreniere, his head coach Gord Gallant decided to make him a healthy scratch on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

According to Arthur Staple of theathetic.com, "He's been inconsistent and one NHL scout observed he doesn't seem to accomplish much with or without the puck.

The Rangers still believe Lafreniere could become the player who showed so much potential during his impressive junior career. However, there seems to be a disconnect between the player he could become and where he is now. If things continue on their current path, they could face the choice of whether or not to keep him or trade him."

Which brings up a possibility of trade rumors. Per Shane Seney of nhltraderumors.me, he could be traded to three teams as it stands now.

The Anaheim Ducks, could certainly give Lafreniere a different outlook towards his career. With the Ducks being in the Conor Bedard sweepstakes considering they reside in the third last place slot in the standings, adding a winger to go along with Bedard would be very intriguing.

The Ducks could offer up John Klingberg in return or even Troy Terry. Terry tallied 37 goals last season. Adding Klingberg would cause some cap issues with his $7 million cap hit, but Terry will be a restricted free agent after this season and earns just $1.45 million. With Lafreniere's low production, his next contract wherever he plays may not be much more than Terry's.

The Chicago Blackhawks could be another option. With the rumours that Patrick Kane may be heading to the Rangers, trading him for Lafreniere and a first round pick could be great for both teams. And, the Rangers have not one, but two first rounders next year.

The last option may be the Vancouver Canucks. Bo Horvat wants to leave, and Brock Boeser does too. Lafreniere would give the Canucks a cheaper option upfront and he would get plenty of ice time there.

It may seem that the Rangers are not giving Lafreniere enough ice time, and he doesn't get any power play time to speak of. It may be time for him to seek greener pastures and find his game again. We all know he has tons of talent, but has yet to show it in the NHL.
December 30   |   109 answers
Former First-overall Pick Healthy Scratched: Trade Rumours Picking Up

With Alexis Lafreniere's lack of success in New York, is it time to trade him?

Yes, go for it!4642.2 %
No, give him more time to develop2321.1 %
Not sure yet2018.3 %
They may regret trading him, but it may be time2018.3 %
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