Alexis Lafrenière has been drafted first overall by the New York Rangers. Photo by @RickCarpiniello (Twitter).
- The New York Rangers have selected Alexis Lafreniere first overall in the 2020 NHL Draft
- The Rangers’ 2021 Stanley Cup odds are listed at +2700
- Is there value betting on New York to win the Cup next season? See odds and analysis below
The New York Rangers are being listed at +2700 in the 2021 Stanley Cup odds after officially drafting prized-prospect Alexis Lafreniere with the first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
Lafreniere will be joining a talented forward group that already includes the likes of Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, and Kaapo Kakko. Does drafting Lafreniere makes the Rangers worthy of an early longshot bet to win the cup next season?
2021 Stanley Cup Odds
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+850|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+900|
|St. Louis Blues||+1700|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+1800|
|New York Islanders||+2500|
|New York Rangers||+2700|
|San Jose Sharks||+3700|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+4000|
|Los Angeles Kings||+5000|
|New Jersey Devils||+7500|
|Detroit Red Wings||+25000|
Odds taken Oct. 6 at DraftKings
Lafreniere is Budding Superstar
Rimouski Océanic forward Lafreniere was the consensus top overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft for quite some time. The 18-year-old has torched the QMJHL with 297 points over three seasons, including potting 42 goals in just 62 games in his rookie year.
Lafreniere is a generational talent who can change a franchise. He’ll immediately make an impact for the Rangers and should open as the favorite to win the Calder Trophy. He’s one of only two players ever to win the CHL Player of the Year Award twice. The other? Sidney Crosby.
Lafreniere is an elite playmaker with some incredible hands. He’s very creative and always finds ways to catch opposing defenders off guard. He’s also proven to be a force with the man advantage, which is going to be a major asset for a Rangers’ power play that struggled mightily in 2019-20 (7.1 PP%, 24th).
Rangers Amidst Fast-Building Rebuild
The Rangers are in the middle of one of the quickest-moving NHL rebuilds in recent memory. They’ve built an exciting young core featuring Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin, Kappo Kakko, Adam Fox, and Tony DeAngelo. They solidified their commitment to the rebuild by moving on from two well-respect veterans; blueliner Marc Staal and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
For teaching us all what it means to wear the Blueshirt from the moment you first put it on:
We salute you. pic.twitter.com/XITUxNiiVy
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) September 30, 2020
Lafreniere is going to be a fantastic addition to one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL. The Rangers finished the 2019-20 regular season with the fifth-highest scoring offense in the league and should boast three strong scoring lines with Lafreniere in the fold.
Goaltending is the other main reason to consider betting on New York for 2021. 24-year-old Russian netminder Igor Shesterkin is the expected successor to Lundqvist and has posted an impressive .932 save percentage in his first 12 NHL starts. An early injury to the prized prospect in the Return-To-Play really hurt the Rangers as they were swept by Carolina in the qualifying round.
Consider Betting New York As 2021 Stanley Cup Longshot
The Rangers have lots of what you should look for in a Stanley Cup sleeper team, including a talented young core and strong goaltending potential. We haven’t even touched on talented 20-year-old forward Vitali Kravtsov, who has six goals in his first 11 KHL games this season and could become a top-six forward for the Rangers as early as 2020-21.
Kravtsov scores for a fourth consecutive game. 🔥 #NYR pic.twitter.com/2kxcJ8xSzH
— Alex Nunn (@aj_ranger) September 20, 2020
The Rangers showcased their potential as Stanley Cup contenders last season with a 9-1-0 stretch of play in February before the pandemic hit. You have to consider the possibility that the 2020-21 season could be a condensed schedule. That’s where New York’s talent could really stand out.
Lafreniere is a projected generational talent who will change this franchise. The Rangers still need to improve on their defensive play, but a strong offense and a promising fresh face in goal could take this team far in 2021.
This time last year the Dallas Stars were +3000 in the Cup odds. They came just two wins away and were +160 by September. Take advantage of the Rangers at +2700 before any longshot value completely disappears.
Brady is a passionate hockey fan and sports writer with over five years experience specializing in digital media, plus a degree in Broadcast Journalism. His work has been published by outlets such as ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports.