Some NHL Play-In teams now have incentive to lose for Alexis Lafreniere
Ever since the “mystery team” won the NHL Draft Lottery this past Friday night, a bunch of teams have fans debating if losing the qualifying round would be better. That’s because all eights teams that get knocked out will have a 12.5% chance of getting generational talent Alexis Lafreniere with the No. 1 pick.
It is an odd conversation to have, but we are talking about a decent shot at landing a franchise player that could have the offensive potential of a Sidney Crosby. Where do you stand? Let’s discuss.
Who is NHL Prospect Alexis Lafreniere?
Alexis Lafreniere is a LW coming out of the QMJHL, oddly enough for the same team Sidney Crosby played for, the Rimouski Oceanic. The kid has hands, vision, skating agility, speed, high hockeyIQ, and a great shot on top of all that. He is by far and away the number one choice in this draft.
“He’s already one of the best players in the world, in my opinion, so he’ll step right in,” NHL Central Scouting senior manager David Gregory said. “Unless something really dramatic happens, he’s going to go to a team that needs immediate help.”
Well the dramatic did happen and if a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs did get knocked out could add Lafreniere who scored 112 points in 52 games to their stacked lineup. I mean could you imagine Lafreniere playing with John Tavares or Auston Matthews out of the gate? That is why 16 “play-in” teams are having this debate.
Run at the Cup or a chance at Lafreniere
These are no ordinary playoffs. All the teams in the 24 team Return to Play format will have not played a single game in over three months, so throw those records out the door. All teams are starting fresh and more importantly healthy. If there was ever a postseason where one could say it’s anybody’s tournament, this is the one.
In a recent online poll run by David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period Magazine, he asked the question to fans if you’d rather your team lose and win the draft lottery for Alexis Lafreniere. With over 5000 responses, 72% of fans voted overwhelmingly “YES”.
Maybe I am just too old school, but I’d rather try and win it all. Instead it seems like many would take their 12.5% lottery ticket for a player who would still need to prove it on the big stage. Even if that player is being talked about as the next Sidney Crosby, I’m going for the big silver Cup everytime.