Rangers reportedly sign Alexis Lafreniere to 2-year extension

The first-overall pick of the 2020 NHL Draft has reportedly reached a new deal with the Rangers.

Rangers forward Alexis Lafreniere hasn't lived up to the hype since being drafted first overall in 2020. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The New York Rangers have agreed to a two-year contract extension with forward Alexis Lafreniere, according to multiple reports.

The deal is reported to be worth $2.325 million per season.

Lafreniere hasn’t met the exceptional hype surrounding him since being selected with the first-overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, when he was projected as a torrid first-line scorer after posting 112 points in 52 games with the QMJHL’s Rimouski Oceanic in 2019-20. The 21-year-old has shown flashes of stardom at the NHL level, and it’s a compelling risk-reward scenario for the Rangers, given that the term and resources allocated aren’t substantial.

The 6-foot-2 winger is a key part of the "Kid Line" alongside Kaapo Kakko and Filip Chytil, and if this group can go on another prolonged playoff run as they did two years ago, it may change how Lafreniere is perceived after he failed to register a point during the team’s seven-game first-round loss to the rival New Jersey Devils this spring.

New York has never controlled a majority share of the goals at 5-on-5 during Lafreniere's three seasons and he’s infrequently shown the ability to drive play against top-six competition.

In some ways, Lafrienere is a bridge piece between two timelines. He’ll be entering the prime of his career when the extension expires and he’s the seventh forward under contract through 2025-26, a core that remains intact through several hypothetical playoff runs. Lafreniere can essentially bet on himself during this deal and if he blooms into a 60-point scorer or better, he’s in line for a handsome payday in two years.