This article is part of our Prospects Analysis series.
- Alexis Lafreniere (LW, NYR): The No. 1 overall pick from the most recent draft is almost always going to top this list when the rankings come in, and this year is no exception. The difference this year, of course, is the fact Lafreniere is going to a team in the Rangers that is nowhere near the worst hockey club in the league. We all know the backstory relative to how New York acquired the No. 1 selection. The entire fan base was distraught following their three-game elimination to Carolina in the play-in round, and less than a week later they were going nuts after winning the lottery. Lafreniere isn't the same level prospect as a guy like Connor McDavid was coming out of junior, but he's an all-around offensive talent and legitimate difference-maker. Lafreniere hunts down pucks like his life depends on it, and his hockey IQ is exceptional. He is a phenomenal stick-handler and has the size (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) to carve out space in the offensive zone. It's rare for any 18-year-old to possess this type of all-around skill set. It's impossible to cover everything he excels at in one single paragraph. There has been a long standing bias against QMJHL players (of which Lafreniere is one of the best in recent memory), but his dominant performance at the World Juniors (where he was tournament MVP) showed Lafreniere is an elite talent. Lafreniere will never play another second of junior hockey and should be a major contributor for