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“I learned to play with men” - Alexis Lavrinier

“I learned to play with men” – Alexis Lavrinier

There are always discoveries to be made in a huge city like New York. But during the pandemic, trips remained more limited for young Alexis Lavriniere.

Lavrinier basically did his professional snowboarding training with Rangers. He also understood that the life of a professional athlete could make many twists and turns.

In one season in Manhattan, Lavriniere witnessed the saga of Anthony de Angelo, the story of Artmi Panarin who returned to Russia, Tom Wilson’s quarrel with Pavel Buchenevich and Panarin, and the dismissal of the director, General Jeff Gorton and President John Davidson. All this against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and the absence of fans for most of the season from Madison Square Garden.

Even screenwriters like Réjean Tremblay in his glorious years as Lance et Compte wouldn’t have written so many dramas in one season.

It is not always clear that Lafrenière has just finished his first year in the NHL.

20 points in 41 games

After being eliminated from the playoffs, the Rangers have already arrived at balance sheet time. Early Monday afternoon, Grade 1 in the 2020 draft is back in its rookie year.

“It was really different this year,” said former Rimousky Oceanic. But she was enriching, she learned a lot. I used to play with guys every night. I felt more comfortable in the second half. “

“I learned every day and had the opportunity to play against very good players. He will help me for next year. I think I will be a much better player next year.”

In addition to the expectations regarding the choice of an overall first, Lafrenière landed in New York after a long period of inactivity. Before he wore the “blue shirts” for the first time on January 14, 2021, he had played his last match on March 8, 2020 with Oceanic. So he waited ten months before returning to work.

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“We’re not going to hide it,” said Lafrenière. “This long break had an effect on my game.” But we were all in the same boat. She trained hard, she just arrived in New York a few months ago. After a slow start, I found my confidence in the second half of the season. “

At 19 years old, Lavrinier finished the year with 21 points (12 goals, 9 assists) in 56 games. The 6-foot-2, 193-pounds winger more than once insisted he gained speed in the second half of the season. Already.

In his last 41 matches, he has finished seventh in the scoring with the Rangers with 20 points (11 goals, 9 goals). He only had one goal on his record after the first 15 games on the calendar.

“The start was slow, and it was more difficult than I expected,” said the Saint Eustache player. For next season I would like to improve my skating. I will need to be faster. It will help me a lot. I will also aim to do qualifiers with Rangers. “

In the short term, Lavriniere will not represent Canada at the World Championships in Riga, Latvia. Emily Castungway, a young prodigy agent, told colleague Louis Jean that he would hit a dead end in order to rest and spend more time with his family that he hadn’t seen since the start of November.