Alexis Lafreniere joins Sidney Crosby as only back-to-back QMJHL MVP winners


Rimouski Oceanic captain Alexis Lafreniere has added some more hardware to his collection.

Lafreniere — the presumptive No. 1 pick at the 2020 NHL Draft — captured his second straight Quebec Major Junior Hockey League MVP award on Thursday, becoming only the second player in history to win back-to-back Michel Briere Memorial trophies.

NHL star Sidney Crosby, who made Thursday’s announcement, took home MVP honours in 2004 and ’05 while a member of the Oceanic.

The 18-year-old Lafreniere was leading the QMJHL with 112 points (35 goals, 77 assists) in 52 games when the season was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He was also a standout standout at the 2020 world junior hockey championship, where he was named most valuable player and best forward. He had four goals and six assists in five games captaining Canada to the gold medal in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Lafreniere, from Saint-Eustache, Que., was the QMJHL rookie of the year in 2017-18, when he scored 42 goals — the most by a rookie since Crosby scored 54 in 2003-04.

Overall, Lafreniere has 114 goals and 297 points in 173 games over three seasons with Rimouski.

Lafreniere joins Ottawa 67’s forward Marco Rossi and Spokane Chiefs forward Adam Beckman — who were named MVPs of the Ontario and Western major junior leagues respectively Thursday — as nominees for the Canadian Hockey League player of the year.

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