Alexis Lafreniere's emergence has been a key to the Rangers success.

Four years into his NHL career and Alexis Lafreniere is finally living up to the first overall pick hype that the Rangers and their fans had hoped he’d be. Before the season it seemed like time was running short on his career in NY, but as of now that thought feels absolutely absurd with Lafreniere’s emergence.

Because of his lofty draft status and the fact that he had been a career underachiever to this point, fans and likely some in the organization had begun growing impatient with the former Junior phenom. With the current state of the Rangers and the fact that they’re trying to win a Cup, Lafreniere’s emergence this year is not only welcomed but needed.

There’s quite a few reasons for Lafreniere’s emergence this year and while most of it can be attributed to Artemi Panarin and Lafreniere, Peter Laviolette deserves a huge portion of the credit for the Rangers star boom this season.

Under Gerard Gallant there were many who believed that Lafreniere had never been given a real chance to shine. He’d be given time with Kreider, Zibanejad, or Panarin but after any small mistake by Lafreniere, or if the Blueshirts were chasing a lead, then Lafreniere would be dropped right back down the lineup.

Laviolette had a huge task coming in this season and that was not only to win a Cup but to help bring Lafreniere along as well. Laviolette has shown unquestionable and unshakable faith in Lafreniere and let him play through his growing pains which is something that hadn’t been done before and the results are showing. The confidence is finally starting to shine through and Lafreniere is letting the talent that made him the first overall pick years ago carry him in the Rangers top six.

Lafreniere’s emergence and growth and Laviolette’s willingness to trust his youth and talent is exactly why the Blueshirts have been one of the leagues best clubs this season. It’s also why Laviolette has this team on track to be a Cup favorite to come out of the East.


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