Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League is proud to announce that Rimouski Oceanic captain Alexis Lafreniere is the 2019-20 recipient of the CHL Top Draft Prospect of the Year Award presented by Kubota Canada.
Lafreniere, who led the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in scoring with 112 points including 35 goals and 77 assists in 52 games, is the top North American skater in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2020 NHL Draft.
“Kubota Canada is thrilled to be the presenting sponsor for the 2019-20 CHL Top Draft Prospect Award,” said Rob Allison, Director of Brand & Corporate Partnerships for Kubota Canada Ltd. “Even though the season was abbreviated, we saw some great performances this season and it gives me great pleasure on behalf of Kubota’s employees and the Kubota dealers across Canada to congratulate Alexis Lafreniere as this year’s CHL Top Draft Prospect! Well done, Alexis!”
The 18-year-old from Saint-Eustache, Quebec, captained Team White to victory at the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Hamilton just weeks after earning MVP honours and winning gold with Canada at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. Since being chosen first overall by the Oceanic in the 2017 QMJHL Entry Draft, Lafreniere has scored 114 goals with 183 assists for 297 points in 173 career games. He is also a finalist for CHL Player of the Year honours after winning the award one year ago.
“I would just like to say thank you for the Top Prospect trophy,” Lafreniere said. “It’s really a big honour for me. I had the chance to play with an amazing team in Rimouski so this is really special for me.”
Since the CHL’s Top Draft Prospect award was first presented in 1991 there have been 12 recipients who would go on to be chosen first overall at the NHL Draft. That list includes Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters (Edmonton, 2015), Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting (Edmonton, 2012), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels (Edmonton, 2011), John Tavares of the London Knights (New York Islanders, 2009), the Sting’s Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay, 2008), the Knights’ Patrick Kane (Chicago, 2007), the Oceanic’s Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay, 1998), Joe Thornton of the Soo Greyhounds (Boston, 1997), Chris Phillips of the Prince Albert Raiders (Ottawa, 1996), Bryan Berard of the Detroit Jr. Red Wings (Ottawa, 1995), Alexandre Daigle of the Victoriaville Tigres (Ottawa, 1993), and Eric Lindros of the Oshawa Generals (Quebec, 1991). The award was not presented from 2003-05 during which time goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and Oceanic captain Sidney Crosby were both selected first overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Finalists for the award were Quinton Byfield of the Ontario Hockey League’s Sudbury Wolves and Kaiden Guhle of the Western Hockey League’s Prince Albert Raiders.