The recently retired Bob McKenzie just reported an interesting nugget about consensus first overall pick for the 2020 NHL Draft Alexis Lafreniere. Per McKenzie and Mikaël Lalancette, Lafreniere will not report to Rimouski Oceanic’s training camp or go to Europe ahead of the 2020-21 NHL season, which is slated to begin in December.
Draft related update: Alexis Lafreniere will not be reporting to Rimouski’s training camp this fall and will not be going to Europe to play. He’s training in Boisbriand, plans to be drafted and report to his NHL team in November and play 20-21 in the NHL.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) August 12, 2020
In theory, Lafreniere could have started the 2020-21 campaign in the QMJHL or Europe before joining his NHL team, but we now know that is not his plan. Starting the season in Europe would have meant the winger couldn’t play in the NHL in 2020-21. So, this makes plenty of sense for a prospect who expects to make his team’s roster after going first overall in the draft.
Three months ago, McKenzie reported that Lafreniere and his agent would consider him playing in Europe if the leagues on the other side of the ocean were up and running in the fall before the NHL. On Monday, Lafreniere told the media he wasn’t ruling out returning to Rimouski for camp, but that he and his family were undecided.
For the time being, the highly-coveted prospect plans to train at home in Quebec until the 2020 NHL Draft, which arrives on Oct. 9, 2020.