The New York Rangers agreed to terms Monday on a three-year, entry-level deal with No. 1 draft pick Alexis Lafreniere, who is expected to play in the NHL when next season starts.
Lafreniere signed a day after turning 19 and less than a week since New York selected him first overall. The Quebec-born left winger is another talented young player to add to the Rangers’ rebuild that could get them back to being legitimate contenders as soon as this upcoming season.
Got drafted first overall ☑️<br>Turned 19 ☑️<br>Signed his first pro contract ☑️<br><br>Pretty decent week for <a href=”https://twitter.com/Alexlaff13?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@Alexlaff13</a>. <a href=”https://t.co/ojWj4TvpXs”>pic.twitter.com/ojWj4TvpXs</a>
The league is targeting a Jan. 1 start for what it hopes to be an 82-game 2021 season. Lafreniere skated in 52 games for Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, putting up 35 goals and 77 assists for 112 points.
Lafreniere was also the MVP of the world junior hockey championship last year, recording 10 points in five games to lead Canada to the gold medal.
According to the team, general manager Jeff Gorton says the plan for Lafreniere is to have him head to New York and prepare for an NHL training camp rather than return to Rimouski.
The Rangers are hoping for more of that kind of production eventually from their first No. 1 pick since the universal draft was implemented in 1969. They also made a handful of free agent signings since the market opened Friday to improve, especially on defence.
Lucky No. 1⃣3⃣. <a href=”https://twitter.com/Alexlaff13?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@Alexlaff13</a> | <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/NYR?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#NYR</a> <a href=”https://t.co/aKUUcA7Mdn”>pic.twitter.com/aKUUcA7Mdn</a>
They signed Jack Johnson to a $1.15 million, one-year deal after he was bought out by Pittsburgh and added fellow defenceman Anthony Bitetto, a Long Island native. New York also signed veteran Keith Kinkaid to be their third goaltender behind Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev after buying out Henrik Lundqvist, who joined the rival Washington Capitals.
Toffoli signs with Montreal
The Montreal Canadiens have signed forward Tyler Toffoli on a one-way, four-year contract. The deal has an average annual value of 4.25 million dollars.
More details to come.
Chicago signs forward Janmark
Chicago signed forward Mattias Janmark to a one-year deal, the team announced Monday.
The deal is worth $2.25 million.
Janmark, 27, played in 62 games for the Dallas Stars last season, notching 21 points (six goals, 15 assists). He also recorded one goal and seven assists in 26 postseason contests, helping the Stars to the Stanley Cup Final. His eight postseason points and seven assists were career highs.
Janmark was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the third round (No. 79 overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft. He was traded to the Stars on March 1, 2015, and made his debut in the 2015-16 season.
In 297 career games with Dallas, Janmark recorded 109 points (46 goals, 63 assists). His best season came in 2017-18 when he set a career high in goals (19) and points (34).