Alexis Lafreniere is confident he’ll be playing in New York next season. According to Bob McKenzie of TSN, the consensus first-overall pick has decided that he will not report to training camp for the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL or go overseas to play in Europe for the next few months. Instead, he intends on training individually and preparing for the NHL season.
The 18-year old Lafreniere was always expected to go straight to the NHL after his draft, but the uncertainty of when that 2020-21 season actually will begin created some confusion at how he would handle things. McKenzie did note that if the NHL season doesn’t begin in December or January as expected, he will then review his options.
It is interesting to note that the IIHF is still hoping to hold the 2021 World Junior Championship, scheduled to begin on December 26th in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. If the NHL season still hasn’t begun by then, perhaps Lafreniere—who will still only be 19 and eligible—could represent Canada one last time at the tournament. He was named MVP of the event this year, scoring 10 points and leading Canada to a gold medal.
In any case, you won’t be seeing Lafreniere in Rimouski this fall as he ends his CHL career with two consecutive Player of the Year awards.