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I find it annoying that I even have to write this because the chance of it happening is so slim I put it at 0.5% of ever occurring. Since the second phase of the draft lottery Monday night, where fortune smiled again on the New York Rangers giving them the first overall choice in the draft this October, there have been a bunch of articles and speculation on social media that the Rangers are or should be interested in moving on from this pick.
Just going to say this right now, stop it. Jeff Gorton is not budging from making this pick on October 9th unless a team is giving up a franchise altering haul and not many teams would be able to or even be willing to offer what it would take to convince Gorton and President of Hockey Ops, John Davidson to move on from this pick.
You can spare me with all the takes of “The Rangers don’t need another left winger, this team needs help down the middle.” While that is true that the Rangers are more in need of help down the middle than they are on left wing, you don’t pass up on taking a player like Lafreniere. Especially when Lafreniere has already drawn comparisons to Sidney Crosby as his potential ceiling in the NHL.
The thought process that the Rangers could either pass on Lafreniere for Byfield or even trade back to to collect more picks just doesn’t seem to make sense to me. Do the Rangers need help down the middle? Yes. Should they take Byfield over Lafreniere? No way at all. While I think Byfield will become a solid NHL center in a few years, he’s not the type of player that you can take in the draft and put into the NHL immediately to help your team. You can make the argument that the Rangers don’t need a plug and play player right away because their rebuild is close to being finished. I’m also a firm believer that you don’t go into a draft and draft based on need, you need to draft the best player available. Make no doubt about it that Alexis Lafreniere is the best player available in this draft and come the start of the 2020-2021 season he should be wearing a New York Ranger sweater.
Granted that not always do first overall picks work out, you could wind up with a Nail Yakupov, Alexandre Daigle, or Patrik Stefan. But I would much rather take a chance and draft Lafreniere and have faith that he ends up living up to the hype and becomes a superstar in the league.
Lets face it, the chance to sit atop the draft board doesn’t always come around too often, unless you’re the Edmonton Oilers. If you’re a New York Rangers fan, the chance to select first in the draft is like a sighting of Halley’s comet considering the fact that this is a franchise has only selected first one other time and that was in 1965. So for the first time in 55 years the Rangers get to select first and there are those who actually want the team to move the pick?
The biggest pipe dream that I’ve seen from NYR fans on social media is the delusion that they’ll to move this pick or the Hurricanes first, from the Brady Skjei trade, plus one of Lias Andersson or Tony DeAngelo to Buffalo for Jack Eichel. While it’d be great to add a player like Eichel, there’s no way that Buffalo would be willing to part from Eichel especially at this moment when the team is shrouded in turmoil after the bloodbath that happened shortly after the pause.
Will the Rangers listen on offers for the first overall pick? I have absolutely no doubts that they will because that’s what an organization is supposed to do. However I don’t believe there will be any offers presented to the team that will make them rethink drafter the six foot one inch left winger from Rimouski. Adding Lafreniere to this group that already has impressive young talent on it will help this franchise become a Stanley Cup champion sooner than some may think. All these articles and opinions about the Rangers trading this pick really need to end because at the end of the day you’re all talking about something that just isn’t going to happen.
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