CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Island hockey fans are in for a treat tonight.
Alexis Lafreniere comes to town for his only game of the season as his Rimouski Oceanic take on the Charlottetown Islanders at the Eastlink Centre at 7 p.m.
The top pick in the 2017 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft has four goals and 13 assists for 17 points in 12 games this season. He tallied 42 goals and had 80 points in his 60-game rookie season.
“He’s an amazing offensive, skilled player,” Oceanic head coach Serge Beausoleil said. “He can do whatever he wants on the ice with the puck.”
The six-foot-one, 192-pound left-winger is considered one of the frontrunners to be drafted first overall in the 2020 NHL draft.
“He doesn't bother with all the noise around him,” his bench boss said. “He just wants to play hockey.”
After the Oceanic lost in the first round of the playoffs last season, Lafreniere joined Team Canada the next day for the under-18 world championships. Canada lost 2-1 to the Czech Republic in the quarter-final, but it made Lafreniere hungrier.
He assumed a leadership role and helped Canada win the Hlinka Gretzky under-18 tournament in August with a 6-2 victory over Sweden. He had five goals, including two in the final, and 11 points in five games.
“He came (to training camp) with a gold medal on his neck and ready to lead more and more and take more responsibility,” Beausoleil said.