Detroit Red Wings select Swedish forward Lucas Raymond with 4th pick of NHL Draft

Sweden’s Lucas Raymond, left, goes flying after checked by Russia’s Pavel Dorofeyev, front right, during a U20 Ice Hockey Worlds semifinal in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on Jan. 4. (AP file photo)


AP Hockey Writer

The New York Rangers selected Canadian forward Alexis Lafreniere with the No. 1 pick in the NHL draft on Tuesday night.

Lafreniere was the NHL Central Scouting Bureau’s top-ranked North American skater. He becomes the first Canadian to go No. 1 since Connor McDavid was chosen by Edmonton in 2015.

The Detroit Red Wings, who were bumped to the fourth spot despite finishing with the league’s worst record, drafted Swedish forward Lucas Raymond. A little over an hour before the draft, the Red Wings announced general manager Steve Yzerman had to self-isolate in overseeing the draft separate from his staff after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19.

From suburban Montreal, the 6-foot-1 playmaking Lafreniere was the first to earn both Canadian Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League MVP honors in consecutive seasons since Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby in 2004 and ’05, when he also played for the Oceanic.

New York landed the No. 1 pick for the first time since the NHL established the universal draft in 1969.

The Los Angeles Kings then selected Ontario Hockey League center Quinton Byfield with the second pick.

The Ottawa Senators were next and chose top-ranked international forward Tim Stuetzle, who played professionally in his native Germany last year.