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Rangers sign Lafreniere to 2-year deal with reported $2.325M AAV

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The New York Rangers signed restricted free-agent forward Alexis Lafreniere to a two-year extension, the team announced Thursday.

The contract carries an average annual value of $2.325 million, reports the New York Post's Larry Brooks.

Lafreniere, the first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, posted a career-high 39 points (16 goals, 23 assists) in 81 games last season while seeing his average ice time surpass the 15-minute mark for the first time.

The 21-year-old spent the bulk of his time on the third line with Kaapo Kakko and Filip Chytil in 2022-23. The Rangers outscored opponents 31-20 while dictating 52.6% of the expected goals and 53.6% of the shot attempts with the trio on the ice at five-on-five, per Natural Stat Trick.

Lafreniere was held without a point in seven playoff games this spring. He hasn't quite lived up to the expectations thrust upon him as a first overall pick, but incoming head coach Peter Laviolette expressed interest in putting more on Lafreniere's and Kakko's shoulders in 2023-24.

"You certainly would like to see them take the next step: More minutes, maybe a little higher up the lineup, maybe more power-play time," Laviolette said in June. "With that, there has to be opportunity. These conversations will take place - I certainly would like that - and those opportunities will be there for them to grab that ice time and to push."

Lafreniere has amassed 47 goals and 91 points in 216 career NHL games over three seasons.

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