Alexis Lafreniere, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, earned an A rating in NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary players to watch list released Monday.
The 6-foot-1, 196-pound left wing could become the third player from Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League chosen No. 1 in the NHL Draft. The last one from Rimouski selected No. 1 was center Sidney Crosby by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2005, and before that was center Vincent Lecavalier by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1998. Lafreniere has 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) and 45 shots on goal in seven games for the Oceanic this season.
The players to watch list is Central Scouting’s compilation of top prospects from all the major development leagues throughout North America and Europe. The list is updated throughout the season while scouts travel to evaluate the players live.
The players on the list with A ratings are considered potential first-round picks. Players with a B rating are considered possible second- or third-round choices, and those with C ratings are potential fourth-, fifth- or sixth-round selections.
“Alexis Lafreniere is justly viewed as the consensus No. 1 for the 2020 NHL Draft,” said Dan Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting. “His play and development over the past two seasons make him worthy of this distinction. Once the 2019-20 season gets underway, there are a number of prospects who will look to challenge to be ranked as the top prospect.”
Lafreniere, 17, doesn’t expect the pressure as the projected No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft to affect his play during his third QMJHL season.
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