Home SportsHockey N.H.L. Draft: Rangers Select Alexis Lafreniere With First Overall Pick

N.H.L. Draft: Rangers Select Alexis Lafreniere With First Overall Pick

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“I take a lot of pride in my own end and being a guy who is hard to play against and in your face,’’ Schneider, 19, said of his style of play during a Zoom news conference. “And if the opportunity comes to make a good pass or jump up in the play or get a shot on net, I’m more than willing to take it.”

The draft was originally scheduled for the last weekend in June in Montreal, but like everything else on hockey’s calendar since the league suspended play in March, it was delayed because of the pandemic.

An expanded 24-team playoff tournament began in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, on Aug. 1, and the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup, defeating the Dallas Stars in six games. Commissioner Gary Bettman said during Tuesday’s broadcast that the league was targeting Jan. 1, 2021, to start the next season.

“The world out there is a dangerous place for everyone in North America and we’re trying to find a way to get back to normal but we can’t do it until there are solutions to the world’s problems,” Rangers President John Davidson said. “We’re busy, busy, busy but it’s not normal.”

The initial draft lottery — held in June — included the seven teams that did not qualify for the summer playoffs plus a placeholder pick for each of eight clubs that would lose in the qualification round. One of the placeholder teams won the June lottery, leading to another drawing in August among the eight losing squads, with each having a 12.5 percent chance to snare the first overall pick.

After the Rangers were swept, 3-0, by the Carolina Hurricanes, they won that second lottery, guaranteeing the Original Six franchise its first No. 1 pick since the universal draft format was adopted in 1969.

In 1965, when the N.H.L. had only six teams, the Rangers chose forward Andre Veilleux with the top selection in an amateur draft that had only 11 picks. Veilleux never played in the N.H.L.

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