Forums/Armchair-GM

What Has Gone Wrong For Alexis Lafreniere

Created by: Agent_Of_R9
Initial Creation Date: Nov. 10, 2021
Published: Nov. 10, 2021
Team: 2021-22 New York Rangers
Team Explanation
Though I'm not a Rangers fan, I have followed Alexis Lafreniere since his days in junior and always felt he had the potential to be an elite player. I'm not talking about franchise caliber, but a good first line left wing who can carry his line like Taylor Hall or Matthew Tkachuk. After he got drafted, I have been more interested in the Rangers and I try to tune into their games whenever I can. However, I have to admit, I haven't seen much that suggests he'll be an NHL caliber player.

Last season, it was understandable to cut him some slack as he didn't play in a year and had to play under David Quinn who wasn't a very tactical coach in terms of attacking systems, he mostly relied on established individual players to facilitate plays through anticipation. However, he is gone and the Rangers brought in Gallant, a coach with pedigree and ability to develop situations suitable for elite talents. Yet it still hasn't gone well, Lafreniere has 4 points through 13 games and the Rangers have just been a very bad 5v5 overall.

My biggest takeaway from watching Lafreniere this season is that he is scared to hold onto the puck and carry it in hopes of facilitating a play with his skillset. Every time he receives it, he defers it right away to a teammate or chips it into the corner for them to chase. Although he has never been a flashy or elusive player even in junior, he has always been known for his ability to carry out plays in tight spaces at the right time and that's just not something we're seeing enough in the NHL. Based on the way that he's playing and the linemates Gallant is putting him with, it seems like they are trying to develop him into a grinder or enforcer rather than a power forward with playmaking abilities. Like he's doing the work physically but they don't seem to believe in his attacking talents and are trying to transform him into someone he's not familiar with.

Although I am not a fan of using advanced analytics to measure a player but I have to admit that there is still hope for Lafreniere despite the poor situation that he's in. He's second amongst Rangers forwards in on ice xGoal share. His individual shooting and chance creation numbers are in the same range as a number of highly rated playmaking wingers:

Lafreniere - 0.726 iXG/60 + 0.8 xA/60
Panarin - 0.715 iXG/60 + 0.853 xA/60
Marner - 0.8 iXG/60 + 0.88 xA/60
Kaprisov - 0.68 iXG/60 + 0.68 xA/60
Marchand - 0.88 iXG/60 + 0.84 xA/60
Gaudreau - 0.75 iXG/60 + 0.92 xA/60
Teravainen - 0.89 iXG + 0.93 xA/60

At this point, it's not even about the linemates that he's playing with or the amount of ice time that he's getting. It really comes down to the style they want him to play, and if they want him to fulfill his potential, they have to allow him to express himself more freely with the puck. Let him try to carry the puck more and give him the opportunity to control the play for his teammates using his instinct. There will be successes and failures, but that's how a player grows, you have to allow him make mistakes. I'd try to give him an extended with Chytil or try to acquire another offensive center like Strome of CHI. If the Rangers don't have belief in Lafreniere's abilities, then it's time to explore trading him for a prospect whom they have a better chance at developing.
Trades
1.
NYR
  1. Strome, Dylan
  2. McCabe, Jake
CHI
  1. Chytil, Filip
  2. Kravtsov, Vitali
  3. 2023 3rd round pick (NYR)
Buyouts
  • Henrik Lundqvist: $1,500,000
  • Kevin Shattenkirk: $1,433,333
  • Dan Girardi: $1,111,111
  • Anthony Deangelo: $383,334
  • Brad Richards: $0
Buried
  • Patrik Nemeth: $1,375,000 ($2,500,000)
DRAFT YEARROUND 1ROUND 2ROUND 3ROUND 4ROUND 5ROUND 6ROUND 7
2022
Logo of the NYR
Logo of the NYR
Logo of the STL
Logo of the NYR
Logo of the WPG
Logo of the NYR
Logo of the NYR
2023
Logo of the NYR
Logo of the NYR
Logo of the NYR
Logo of the NYR
Logo of the NYR
Logo of the NYR
2024
Logo of the NYR
Logo of the NYR
Logo of the NYR
Logo of the NYR
Logo of the NYR
Logo of the NYR
Logo of the NYR
ROSTER SIZESALARY CAPCAP HITOVERAGES TooltipBONUSESCAP SPACE
22$81,500,000$74,428,969$0$7,550,000$7,071,031

Roster

Left WingCenterRight Wing
Logo of the NYR
Kreider, Chris
$6,500,000
LW
NMC
UFA - 6
Logo of the NYR
Zibanejad, Mika
$5,350,000
C
NMC
UFA - 1
Logo of the NYR
Goodrow, Barclay
$3,641,667
LW, C, RW
NTC
UFA - 6
Logo of the NYR
Panarin, Artemi
$11,642,857
LW
NMC
UFA - 5
Logo of the NYR
Strome, Ryan
$4,500,000
C, RW
UFA - 1
Logo of the NYR
Kakko, Kaapo
$925,000
RW
RFA - 1
Logo of the NYR
Lafrenière, Alexis
$925,000
LW, RW
RFA - 2
Logo of the CHI
Strome, Dylan
$3,000,000
C, LW
RFA - 1
Logo of the NYR
Blais, Samuel
$1,500,000
RW
RFA - 1
Logo of the NYR
Hunt, Dryden
$762,500
LW, RW
UFA - 2
Logo of the NYR
Rooney, Kevin
$750,000
LW, C, RW
UFA - 1
Logo of the NYR
Reaves, Ryan
$1,750,000
RW
UFA - 1
Left DefenseRight DefenseGoaltender
Logo of the NYR
Lindgren, Ryan
$3,000,000
LD
RFA - 3
Logo of the NYR
Fox, Adam
$925,000
RD
UFA - 1
Logo of the NYR
Shesterkin, Igor
$5,666,667
G
UFA - 4
Logo of the CHI
McCabe, Jake
$4,000,000
LD/RD
NTC
UFA - 4
Logo of the NYR
Trouba, Jacob
$8,000,000
RD
NMC
UFA - 5
Logo of the NYR
Georgiev, Alexandar
$2,425,000
G
RFA - 1
Logo of the NYR
Miller, K'Andre
$925,000
LD
RFA - 2
Logo of the NYR
Lundkvist, Nils
$925,000
RD
RFA - 3
ScratchesInjured Reserve (IR)Long Term IR (LTIR)
Logo of the NYR
Gauthier, Julien
$775,000
RW
RFA - 1
Logo of the NYR
Bitetto, Anthony
$737,500
LD
UFA - 1

Special Teams

Power Play 1
Zibanejad, M.
Kreider, C.
Lafrenière, A.
Panarin, A.
Fox, A.
Power Play 2
Strome, R.
Strome, D.
Goodrow, B.
Miller, K.
Kakko, K.
Penalty Kill 1
Rooney, K.
Reaves, R.
Lindgren, R.
Fox, A.
Penalty Kill 2
Goodrow, B.
Kreider, C.
, .
Trouba, J.

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Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:22 p.m.
#1
Marner Enthusiast
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What are your thoughts on this issue?
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Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:25 p.m.
#2
NYI Interim Gm v5
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This should be about kappo too
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Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:28 p.m.
#3
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Quoting: capsfan2121
This should be about kappo too


I’m not too concerned about Kakko. He’s like most of the top NYR players, they’re just playing really badly at 5v5 to start the season. It’s a coaching issue. He has looked good in the past.
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Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:28 p.m.
#4
NYI Interim Gm v5
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Quoting: Penguins_Legend_Sheary
I’m not too concerned about Kakko. He’s most of the top NYR players, they’re just playing really badly at 5v5 to start the season. He has looked good in the past.


How are they in second place
Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:28 p.m.
#5
Hockey247
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zib and panarin are struggling too because the rangers used to play a very good transition game and now they rely a lot on dump and chase, which IMO does not suit this team well. thats not how gorton built the team to be.
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Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:29 p.m.
#6
NYI Interim Gm v5
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Also I think they threw Alexis in the fire to soon. I would have gave it a year or two. IMO
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Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:32 p.m.
#7
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Quoting: Penguins_Legend_Sheary
What are your thoughts on this issue?


NYR simply has no idea how to develop prospects, especially forward prospects. This isn't new.

Things may get better now that they have an actual coach though, still early in the season
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Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:36 p.m.
#8
Vegan Commie Hipster
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Really neat post

Good stuff not resorting to the b word cheers

I usually defend guys in his situation but I also agree he's been underwhelming and seemingly anxious or whatever, really strange to see ultimately

Yakupov even was so confident early in the NHL

If NYR take any developmental decision it should be leaning towards a Tatar niederreiter etc. type possession monster I guess but honestly...

He just barely turned 20

Patience is the key ✔
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Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:38 p.m.
#9
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Quoting: capsfan2121
How are they in second place


Powerplay and goaltending is carrying them.
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Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:40 p.m.
#10
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Quoting: Penguins_Legend_Sheary
Powerplay and goaltending is carrying them.


Quoting: Penguins_Legend_Sheary
Powerplay and goaltending is carrying them.


Krider spelled that wrong
Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:42 p.m.
#11
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Quoting: Hockey247
zib and panarin are struggling too because the rangers used to play a very good transition game and now they rely a lot on dump and chase, which IMO does not suit this team well. thats not how gorton built the team to be.


Yeah agree everyone having a rough time at 5v5. Lafreniere is actually struggling less than the top guys because of his physicality and grind, but I’m more worried about what not having any offensive success will have on his development.
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Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:42 p.m.
#12
Xercuses
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Quoting: capsfan2121
How are they in second place


Igor
Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:44 p.m.
#13
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Quoting: Ledge_And_Dairy
NYR simply has no idea how to develop prospects, especially forward prospects. This isn't new.

Things may get better now that they have an actual coach though, still early in the season


Maybe, but so far Gallant can’t even figure out how to get the best out of Panarin & Zibanejad, it’ll be for Lafreniere.
Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:45 p.m.
#14
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Quoting: capsfan2121
Also I think they threw Alexis in the fire to soon. I would have gave it a year or two. IMO


He wasn’t ready last season but now he should be used to it. This suggest to be a player development issue.
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Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:47 p.m.
#15
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Quoting: Penguins_Legend_Sheary
Maybe, but so far Gallant can’t even figure out how to get the best out of Panarin & Zibanejad, it’ll be for Lafreniere.


takes time to adapt a system let alone learn the NHL, I think he'll be fine just give it time
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Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:51 p.m.
#16
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Quoting: Radu47
Really neat post

Good stuff not resorting to the b word cheers

I usually defend guys in his situation but I also agree he's been underwhelming and seemingly anxious or whatever, really strange to see ultimately

Yakupov even was so confident early in the NHL

If NYR take any developmental decision it should be leaning towards a Tatar niederreiter etc. type possession monster I guess but honestly...

He just barely turned 20

Patience is the key ✔


To me, the timidity and anxiousness whenever he gets the puck ultimately reflects how he is being coached. If you have a coach who believes in your ability and talents, he’ll experiment with your skillset and give you tips to gradually improve. If he doesn’t believe in it, he’ll try to develop you into someone different which can be detrimental for skilled players.
Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:53 p.m.
#17
Ragsandbluesfan
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Quoting: Ledge_And_Dairy
NYR simply has no idea how to develop prospects, especially forward prospects. This isn't new.

Things may get better now that they have an actual coach though, still early in the season


Not as players or as people, its a complete mess
Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:54 p.m.
#18
Ragsandbluesfan
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Quoting: Ledge_And_Dairy
takes time to adapt a system let alone learn the NHL, I think he'll be fine just give it time


They're using Laf as a 3rd line checker rn
Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:55 p.m.
#19
Ragsandbluesfan
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Laf and Kakko both need real PP time to gain some confidence IMO
Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:57 p.m.
#20
Go Habs Go
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The Montreal Canadiens technique of drafting players for their skills and then trying to develop them into "responsible 2-way players"? Usually accompanied by limited minutes in bottom 6 duties? squinty smile
Nov. 10, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
#21
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Quoting: capsfan2121
How are they in second place


NYR team rankings:

xGF/G 31st
xGA/G 30th
xGD/G 32nd
CF% 32nd
FF% 32nd
SCF% 32nd
HDSCF% 32nd

If you get an answer to that question, I'd love to hear it. But looks like a lot of luck right now.
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Nov. 10, 2021 at 7:02 p.m.
#22
Hakuna Matata
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Quoting: Ledge_And_Dairy
NYR simply has no idea how to develop prospects, especially forward prospects. This isn't new.

Things may get better now that they have an actual coach though, still early in the season


This
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Nov. 10, 2021 at 7:02 p.m.
#23
NYI Interim Gm v5
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Quoting: NHLfan10506
NYR team rankings:

xGF/G 31st
xGA/G 30th
xGD/G 32nd
CF% 32nd
FF% 32nd
SCF% 32nd
HDSCF% 32nd

If you get an answer to that question, I'd love to hear it. But looks like a lot of luck right now.


Ok. Is there Strength of schedule difficult so far
Nov. 10, 2021 at 7:04 p.m.
#24
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Quoting: Penguins_Legend_Sheary
Powerplay and goaltending is carrying them.


5v5 save % is 11th in NHL
Power play is 16th in NHL

I think its a lot of luck and small sample sizes
Nov. 10, 2021 at 7:04 p.m.
#25
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McCabe is just starting to find his legs again after missing a year, Strome hopefully can get a new lease on life in the organisation with King in charge and that can either spike his value or prove he needs to be moved.

I wouldn't agree to this move at this point in time.
 
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