Top 2020 NHL Draft Prospect Alexis Lafreniere Wins CHL Player of the Year Award

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIIJune 10, 2020

Canada's Alexis Lafreniere celebrates after winning the U20 Ice Hockey Worlds gold medal match between Canada and Russia in Ostrava, Czech Republic, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Petr David Josek/Associated Press

Alexis Lafreniere was named the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year on Wednesday, making the 18-year-old the first back-to-back honoree since Pittsburgh Penguins All-Star center Sidney Crosby:

The Rimouski Oceanic left wing finished No. 1 among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting's final rankings, and he is the presumptive top overall pick in the 2020 draft, which was originally scheduled for June 26 but has been postponed without a new date.

Lafreniere was also the first Rimouski player to top the Central Scouting North American skaters rankings since Crosby did so in 2005, per NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale.

"His hockey IQ is at the highest level possible, and he also competes really hard," J-F Damphousse of NHL Central Scouting said Wednesday. "He's not a finesse guy who only relies on his overall skills, but he hits and finishes checks. I wasn't scouting when Crosby was in Rimouski, but I know you got that feeling that something special was going to happen every time he was on the ice. Alexis is the same way."

The Quebec native recorded 35 goals and 77 assists for a career-most and league-most 112 points with Rimouski last season. Lafreniere added four goals and six assists with the Canadian national U20 team, which claimed the gold medal at the World Junior Championships while he was named the MVP.

Ottawa 67 center Marco Rossi and Spokane forward Adam Beckman were also finalists for the award.

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