Former NHL goaltender and current studio host Steve Valiquette recently weighed in on the future of New York Rangers forward Alexis Lafrenière, following the young player’s disappointing playoff performance against the New Jersey Devils. Lafrenière, the 2020 first overall pick, has struggled to live up to the high expectations surrounding his NHL career, with some even suggesting he’s creeping into “bust” territory.
In the playoff series against the Devils, Lafrenière failed to register a single point, recording zero goals and zero assists in seven games played. With a career total of 47 goals and 44 assists in 216 NHL games, the young forward has yet to reach his full potential on the ice.
Valiquette offered some candid advice for Lafrenière, emphasizing the importance of a dedicated off-season training regimen. “You know what he needs? He needs a summer in the gym. He needs to put his golf clubs in the closet, and he needs to dedicate everything he has to hockey, and then he’ll know for himself what he is at this level next year,” Valiquette stated.
This no-nonsense approach from Valiquette underscores the fact that Lafrenière’s development is crucial not only for his personal success but also for the Rangers as a team. His talent and potential were undeniable when he was drafted, and now it’s up to him to put in the work necessary to transform that potential into on-ice results.
To turn his career around and silence the doubters, Lafrenière must embrace the challenge of an intense off-season training program. By focusing on his physical conditioning and honing his hockey skills, he can ensure that he comes back stronger and more prepared for the next season.
The coming months will be a defining period for Alexis Lafrenière if he wants to stay a Ranger. If he keeps his current pace, I could see the Rangers looking to move on past him. He’s played a couple seasons now and understands the level of play he’s dealing with, he needs to commit himself to the off season training if he wants to fulfill his potential.