The New York Rangers won Monday’s NHL draft lottery — and the right to select consensus No. 1 pick Alexis Lafreniere.
The Rangers committed to a rebuild in 2018, but that has been expedited after an exciting 14 months. New York selected No. 2 overall in the 2019 draft, picking Finnish winger Kaapo Kakko. In July, the Rangers landed prized free agent Artemi Panarin — a move that provided immediate impact, as Panarin is an MVP finalist this season.
“Really good news,” Lafreniere said in an interview on NHL Network. “Rangers are an unreal team with really good players and a really nice city. So for sure it’s really good news, and I’m really happy.”
Lafreniere is represented by Emilie Castonguay, who would be the first woman to represent an NHL No. 1 pick as an NHLPA-certified agent.
The NHL held its initial draft lottery in June, which included the seven teams that did not qualify for this summer’s expanded 24-team tournament, as well as a placeholder pick for one of the eight teams that lost in the qualification round. The placeholder pick won June’s lottery, forcing a second drawing on Monday.