Chicago Blackhawks: The Alexis Lafreniere Sweepstakes

QUEBEC CITY, QC - OCTOBER 18: Alexis Lafreniere #11 of the Rimouski Oceanic skates prior to his QMJHL hockey game at the Videotron Center on October 18, 2019 in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images)
QUEBEC CITY, QC - OCTOBER 18: Alexis Lafreniere #11 of the Rimouski Oceanic skates prior to his QMJHL hockey game at the Videotron Center on October 18, 2019 in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks are inching closer to entering the Alexis Lafreniere sweepstakes.

The Chicago Blackhawks haven’t seemed to get things going so far this season. They currently are in last place in the Central division after 34 games. Hopefully, that’ll get Chicago a lottery pick and a chance to draft Alexis Lafreniere.

After 34 games, the Chicago Blackhawks have 32 points. They’ve won 13 games. Yes, 13.

Besides Patrick Kane‘s 15-game point streak, there hasn’t been much to cheer about this season. After blowing a 3-0 lead against the Blues last Saturday, the team looked deflated.

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Jeremy Colliton isn’t a great head coach. I was very optimistic and rooted for him. Many fans believed after last year’s strong finish, this season would be better. It might have gotten worse.

After firing a legend like Joel Quenneville, the new coach will always be under more pressure. It might be time to end the Colliton experiment and fully commit to a rebuild.

As of right now, Tankathon has the Blackhawks with the 6th overall draft pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Defenseman Jamie Drysdale is the projected 6th pick.

Like Strome and DeBrincat, Drysdale plays for the Erie Otters (OHL). If things get worse, they might get lucky enough to grab the first pick.

Back in 2006-07, the Blackhawks finished as the fifth worse team in hockey. They ended up getting the first pick and drafted Kane. 13 years later, the Blackhawks are trying to find that next Kane.

Last year, many people would say Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat could be the next Kane and Toews. Looking at this season, there are strong disagreements.

There’s a solid chance Kirby Dach will fill the role of Jonathan Toews in a few years. DeBrincat would be a perfect first-line winger. There’s just a higher upside for Dach instead of Strome.

If the Blackhawks get the first pick, Alexis Lafreniere is the can’t-miss prospect. Lafreniere has been compared to many NHL stars.

A few players he’s been compared to are Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid. If Lafreniere is half as good as either one of those players, he will be the future of any franchise.

Lafreniere is an elite prospect. When comparing his stats to Kane’s juniors stats, they’re somewhat similar.

However, Lafreniere has played in a different league. The QMJHL has been considered tougher than the OHL. Whether that is true or not, he’s still an elite prospect.

Lafreniere averages 1.67 points-per-game in his OMJHL career. He has played just under 100 more games than Kane did in the OHL. He has 110 more points than Kane did in his junior career. Kane averaged 2.50 points-per-game in his OHL career. Even though he played fewer games, he made just as big as an impact during his time with the London Knights.

Why Alexis Lafreniere Is a Good Fit with Chicago Blackhawks

Imagine, if he pans out, how big of a future the Chicago Blackhawks would have. In 2006, they drafted Toews at number three. In 2007, they drafted Kane at number one. Last year, they drafted Dach at number three. In 2020, they’d be drafting Lafreniere at number one.

Lafreniere and Dach could be the future of Stanley Cup-winning teams. The Chicago Blackhawks’ future already includes Adam Boqvist, Robin Lehner, Strome, DeBrincat, and Dach. Adding Lafreniere to that group will certainly help the Blackhawks get back on top again.

It’s not a guarantee that Lafreniere can be enough to fix the Blackhawks, but he has the potential to change a franchise. If he is drafted by the Blackhawks, his early career years will be played with Kane and Toews.

Toews has already helped Dach out a lot. Imagine Kane helping out a player like Lafreniere. Both are left-handed wingers, both have a tremendous shot, and both have changed every franchise they played with.

The Chicago Blackhawks are not going to win the Stanley Cup with the way they’re playing right now. Something bigger than adding a few defensemen and a goalie has to happen. A coaching and a general manager change also needs to take place.