Rangers Not Expected to Have Extension Talks With $4.6 Million Forward: Report

New York Rangers

Getty The New York Rangers won't engage in contact talks with Alexis Lafreniere.

The New York Rangers are not expected to engage in contract extension talks with former first-overall pick Alexis Lafreniere, according to lohud.com, part of the USA TODAY Network.

Lafreniere is set to enter the final year of the two-year $4.6 million deal he signed with the Rangers on August 23, 2023. With Lafreniere entering the final year of his deal, he is eligible to sign an extension on July 1, but he and the Rangers are not expected to engage in talks this summer.

“Rangers team president Chris Drury has a lot on his plate this offseason, but signing breakout winger Alexis Lafrenière to an extension doesn’t appear to be on the to-do list. All indications are that the two sides will hold off on negotiations until next summer, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke to lohud.com, part of the USA TODAY Network,” Vincent M. Mercogliano wrote.

It is interesting that the Rangers and Lafreniere won’t engage in contract extension talks this summer as the forward is a key player for New York.

However, Mercogliano says that is due to Lafreniere wanting to bet on himself to get even more money come next summer.

“That stance could change if a compelling offer is made, but the No. 1 overall pick from the 2020 NHL Draft is preparing to make a strategic bet that his career-high 57-point season was only the beginning. And if he takes another step forward next season, he’ll be in a position to command an even bigger payday,” Mercogliano added.

Lafreniere will be a restricted free agent after this season, so the Rangers will continue to hold his rights.

This past season, Lafreniere recorded 28 goals and 29 assists for 57 points in 80 games. In the playoffs, he added 8 goals and 6 assists for 14 points in 16 games.

Rangers Coach Heaped Praise on Lafreniere

Lafreniere was drafted first overall by New York in the 2020 NHL draft but he struggled to adapt to the NHL game early on.

The forward had just 21 points in his rookie season and followed that up with 31 points and 39 points in his next two seasons. However, Lafreniere made a massive leap this past season and at the end of the season, Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette praised Lafreniere.

“His confidence, to me, grew the entire year,” Laviolette said on June 4. “I certainly would like to see that build next year as he takes on more responsibility and looks to grow from this year. It was a really, really good year for him, and we’re hoping he’ll be better next year.”

Lafreniere took over in the playoffs as he was tied for most goals on the Rangers with 8.

“I thought his playoffs were excellent,” Laviolette said. “He was productive, he was physicale was noticeable, he was an impact player for us.”

Lafreniere a ‘Superstar’ in the Making

Following the Rangers being eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals by the Florida Panthers, New York forward Vincent Trochek had plenty of praise for Lafreniere.

Lafreniere became a top-six forward for the Rangers this past season, especially after scoring 8 goals in the playoffs. After a solid playoff, Trochek called Lafreniere a superstar in the making.

“‘Laf’ made hug strides this year,” Trocheck said on June 4, via ForeverBlueShirts. “I think he’s a superstar in the making.”

Lafreniere has skated in 298 regular season games and has recorded 75 goals and 73 assists for 148 points.

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