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Lafreniere No. 1 pick in 2020 NHL Draft by Rangers; Byfield makes history – NHL.com

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“I’m really excited to join the New York Rangers and can’t wait to see the fans,” Lafreniere said. “I heard a lot of good things about the fans and about the building (Madison Square Garden), so I’m really excited to arrive in New York in the next couple months, maybe. I hope we’re going to have a good season. I’m really honored.”

The left wing led the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 77 assists and 112 points for Rimouski and for the second straight season was voted QMJHL MVP, QMJHL Personality of the Year and Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year.

The Rangers won the No. 1 pick in the Second Phase of the NHL Draft Lottery on Aug. 10.

“I think just throwing on a Rangers jersey … it’s pretty amazing,” Lafreniere said. “Growing up, you dream of being drafted in the NHL, and just being able to have an NHL jersey, and especially the New York jersey … it’s unreal for me.”

[RELATED: NHL Draft first-round results, analysisComplete 2020 NHL Draft coverage]

The draft was rescheduled from June due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. It was conducted virtually for the first time, with each team selecting from its draft room in its city and Commissioner Gary Bettman based at NHL Studios in Secaucus, New Jersey.

Rounds 2-7 will be Wednesday (11:30 a.m. ET; NHLN, SN1).

Center Quinton Byfield was picked No. 2 by the Los Angeles Kings, the highest-selected Black player in NHL history. Forward Evander Kane (2009 NHL Draft, Atlanta Thrashers) and defenseman Seth Jones (2013 NHL Draft, Nashville Predators) each were chosen with the No. 4 pick.

“[Being the first Black player chosen] is something super positive,” Byfield said. “I just want to continue to spread positivity and awareness to that subject.”

Byfield scored 82 points (32 goals, 50 assists) in 45 games with Sudbury in the Ontario Hockey League this season.

“I don’t get too nervous, but I was pretty nervous and excited for this moment you’ve been waiting for all your life,” Byfield said. “Just celebrating with my family right now is something super-special.

“I was definitely anxious, and to hear my name being called was definitely a big relief off my shoulders. I can’t wait to go to Los Angeles now.”

Video: Kings draft C Quinton Byfield No. 2

Forward Tim Stuetzle was chosen No. 3 by the Ottawa Senators, who also selected defenseman Jake Sanderson at No. 5.

Stuetzle scored 34 points (seven goals, 27 assists) in 41 games this season for Adler Mannheim of Deutsche Eishockey Liga, Germany’s top professional men’s league. He is the highest-selected NHL draft pick born and trained in Germany since forward Leon Draisaitl was selected No. 3 by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2014 NHL Draft.

“It’s a big honor to be [picked] by the Ottawa Senators,” Stuetzle said. “But, in the end, I want to make the team. This was my first step right now. I want to make the team as soon as possible and try to show my best every day.”

Sanderson was the first of two United States-born players picked; center Brendan Brisson was drafted No. 29 by the Vegas Golden Knights. There were 11 U.S.-born players selected in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft.

There were 19 Canada-born players selected Tuesday, the most in the first round since 2003 (19).

Iaroslav Askarov became the highest-drafted Russia-born goalie in NHL history and the fifth to be selected in the first round.

“I’m full of emotions right now,” Askarov said. “I feel joy and happiness and still can’t understand what just happened. Every kid has dreams and goals, and I was one of them. When I started to play hockey, I was dreaming about the NHL, and today is the first step to make it real.”

Germany-born Lukas Reichel, a forward for Eisbaren Berlin (DEL), was picked No. 17 by the Chicago Blackhawks. Prior to this year, five players born and trained in Germany had been selected in the first round but never more than one in any year.

“It’s very good for German hockey,” Stuetzle said. “What [Draisaitl] did (voted NHL MVP this season), like I’ve said before, it’s unbelievable. Many kids look up to him.”

Forward Lucas Raymond was picked No. 4 by the Detroit Red Wings. Defenseman Jamie Drysdale was picked No. 6 by the Anaheim Ducks, forward Alexander Holtz was picked No. 7 by the New Jersey Devils, forward Jack Quinn was picked No. 8 by the Buffalo Sabres, center Marco Rossi was picked No. 9 by the Minnesota Wild, and forward Cole Perfetti was picked No. 10 by the Winnipeg Jets.

Video: Every first round pick from the 2020 NHL Draft

The Rangers were 18th in the NHL standings this season and were the first team to finish that low and have the No. 1 pick since the 1994 NHL Draft, when the Florida Panthers finished 16th (Ed Jovanovski). New York was the first team to participate in the postseason and have the No. 1 pick since the 1983 NHL Draft (Minnesota North Stars, Brian Lawton).

This was the 19th time a team picked No. 1 and No. 2 in consecutive NHL Drafts. The Rangers selected forward Kaapo Kakko with the No. 2 pick in the 2019 draft, after the Devils selected center Jack Hughes at No. 1.

The Rangers had No. 1 pick for the second time; they selected forward Andre Veilleux in the 1965 NHL Draft.

Lafreniere was sitting beside his parents, Nathalie and Hugo, and sister, Lori-Jane, at home in Saint Eustache, Quebec, when the Rangers made the selection.

“We are 10 out of 10 with excitement, to be dead honest with you,” New York president John Davidson said. “These things just happen maybe once in a lifetime, it feels like. For us to have one of those once-in-a-lifetime types of picks, it’s almost dramatic. We’ve had our eyes on Alexis the whole time, but the good part for me, or great part, or wonderful part, was when he put that jersey on.

“When he put that jersey on, it just look like it fit him, it was perfect. He’s a pro already in a lot of ways.”

Lafreniere is the first Quebec-born player selected No. 1 since goalie Marc-Andre Fleury by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2003 NHL Draft. The last Quebec-born skater chosen No. 1 was center Vincent Lecavalier by the Lightning in the 1998 NHL Draft.

“I think it means a lot,” Lafreniere said. “It means a lot to me. Just being able to represent Quebec City … I think it’s something really special for me and I’m really excited to keep going and try to make them proud again.”

Video: Lafreniere on the Rangers selecting him first overall

The Rangers moved up later in the first round in a trade with the Calgary Flames and selected defenseman Braden Schneider at No. 19. The Flames received the No. 22 pick and a third-round choice (No. 72), and then traded the No. 22 pick to the Capitals for the No. 24 pick (center Connor Zary) and a third-round choice (No. 80).

The Senators and Devils each had three picks in the first round. Ottawa, which selected center Ridly Greig with the No. 28 pick, have four picks in the second round and 12 selections in all.

New Jersey also drafted center Dawson Mercer at No. 18 and defenseman Shakir Mukhamadullin at No. 20.

The Rangers were one of the eight teams with a 12.5 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick after being eliminated from the Stanley Cup Qualifiers. The pick was assigned in the First Phase of the lottery on June 26. New York was swept by the Carolina Hurricanes in their best-of-5 Qualifier series as part of the 24-team Return to Play Plan.

Yevgeni Ryabchikov, No. 21 in 1994 by the Boston Bruins; Semyon Varlamov, No. 23 in 2006 by the Washington Capitals; Andrei Vasilevskiy, No. 23 in 2012 by the Tampa Bay Lightning; and Ilya Samsonov, No. 22 in 2015 by Washington were the other Russia-born goalies selected in the first round.

2020 NHL DRAFT FIRST ROUND

1. New York Rangers: Alexis Lafreniere, F

2. Los Angeles Kings: Quinton Byfield, C

3. Ottawa Senators: Tim Stuetzle, F

4. Detroit Red Wings: Luca Raymond, F

5. Ottawa Senators: Jake Sanderson, D

6. Anaheim Ducks: Jamie Drysdale, D

7. New Jersey Devils: Alexander Holtz, F

8. Buffalo Sabres: Jack Quinn, F

9. Minnesota Wild: Marco Rossi, C

10. Winnipeg Jets: Cole Perfetti, C

11. Nashville Predators: Iaroslav Askarov, G

12. Florida Panthers: Anton Lundell, C

13. Carolina Hurricanes: Seth Jarvis, C

14. Edmonton Oilers: Dylan Holloway, C

15. Toronto Maple Leafs: Rodion Amirov, F

16. Montreal Canadiens: Kaiden Guhle, D

17. Chicago Blackhawks: Lukas Reichel, F

18. New Jersey Devils: Dawson Mercer, C

19. New York Rangers: Braden Schneider, D

20. New Jersey Devils: Shakir Mukhamadullin, D

21. Columbus Blue Jackets: Yegor Chinakhov, F

22. Washington Capitals: Hendrix Lapierre, C

23. Philadelphia Flyers: Tyson Foerster, F

24. Calgary Flames: Connor Zary, C

25. Colorado Avalanche: Justin Barron, D

26. St. Louis Blues: Jake Neighbours, F

27. Anaheim Ducks: Jacob Perreault, F

28. Ottawa Senators: Ridly Greig, C

29. Vegas Golden Knights: Brendan Brisson, C

30. Dallas Stars: Mavrik Bourque, C

31. San Jose Sharks: Ozzy Wiesblatt, F

NOTES: pick No. 3 from Sharks; pick No. 13 from Maple Leafs; pick No. 15 from Pittsburgh Penguins; pick No. 18 from Arizona Coyotes; pick No. 19 from Flames; pick No. 20 from Vancouver Canucks via Tampa Bay Lightning; pick No. 22 from Flames via Rangers; pick No. 24 from Capitals; pick No. 27 from Boston Bruins; pick No. 28 from New York Islanders; pick No. 31 from Lightning

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Kansas City mayor, star quarterback want Raptors to make Missouri temporary home – CTV Toronto

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TORONTO —
Some of Kansas City’s most famous residents want to call the Toronto Raptors their home team.

On the heels of reports the NBA season will tip off Dec. 22, and with federal and provincial restrictions around COVID-19 potentially keeping the Raptors out of Scotiabank Arena, there’s been rampant speculation about where the 2019 NBA champions will play.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif took to social media to advocate for the Raptors to play there.

Mahomes, the 2020 Super Bowl MVP, posted on Twitter “Bring them to KC!” with a flexed-arm emogi, to which Mayor Lucas replied: “Working on it.”

On Tuesday morning, the mayor wrote: “Good morning, Kansas City! It’s currently 13 degrees colder here than in Toronto (7 degrees Celsius),” with the hashtag “We the North.”

The Chiefs’ right guard Duvernay-Tardif, a medical school graduate from Quebec who opted out of the NFL season due to concerns around COVID-19, replied: “Merci monsieur! Definitely feels like home,” with a happy face.

The T-Mobile Center in Kansas City has close to 19,000 seats for basketball. The 13-year-old downtown arena has hosted games in the NCAA women’s and men’s basketball championships as well as NBA and NHL pre-season games.

Kansas City, Louisville, Ky., Hartford, Conn., and the New York area have been some of the suggestions as temporary home courts for Toronto.

Raptors spokesperson Jennifer Quinn, however, told The Canadian Press on Tuesday “Our focus is on playing in Toronto.”

After the federal government denied the Toronto Blue Jays permission to play at Rogers Centre this season, the Major League Baseball team played home games in Buffalo, N.Y., after politicians from just across the border pitched the city as a temporary home.

All three Canadian Major League Soccer teams have been playing recent home games in the United States. Toronto FC is in East Hartford, Conn., the Montreal Impact are in Harrison, N.J., and the Vancouver Whitecaps are in Portland.

TFC coach Greg Vanney told reporters Tuesday he’d love to have the Raptors in Connecticut.

“I don’t think our hotel could accommodate both of us at the same time, but it would be great to have them nearby,” Vanney said.

The Connecticut experience has been excellent, the coach said.

“For me . . . it’s the living situation, and the field,” Vanney said. “Those are the most important things, and so far the place that we’ve been staying has been phenomenal in terms of the living conditions, the food and everything has been great.”

He said some of the fields have been “touch and go” as the weather gets colder.

“(But) In terms of basketball, I assume you find a court and the court is generally the same, so it’s doable.”

Toronto FC’s hotel is across the street from the XL Center in Hartford, a potential home arena for the Raptors. It seats around 16,000 for University of Connecticut basketball games, and is also home to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League.

The Harry A. Gampel Pavilion in nearby Storrs, Conn., seats just over 10,000 and also hosts some UConn basketball games.

The Raptors haven’t played a game at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena since Feb. 28, a 99-96 loss to Charlotte. The 2019 NBA champions were ousted in the second round of the playoffs by Boston once the season resumed in the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World in Florida.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2020.

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Dodgers' Justin Turner joins team for World Series photo after positive COVID-19 test – Toronto Sun

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Article content continued

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said it was a “bittersweet” end to the season.

“We’re glad to done, I do think it is a great accomplishment for our players to get this season completed but obviously we are concerned when any of our players tests positive,” he added.

“We learned during the game that Justin tested positive, he was immediately isolated to prevent any spread.”

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (10) poses for a picture with his wife Kourtney Pogue after the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series in game six of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field. Photo by Kevin Jairaj /USA TODAY Sports

The World Series was held entirely at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas with a limited number of fans in attendance to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Turner said he felt great and had “no symptoms at all.”

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Kansas City mayor, star quarterback want Raptors to make Missouri temporary home – CityNews Toronto

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Some of Kansas City’s most famous residents want to call the Toronto Raptors their home team.

On the heels of reports the NBA season will tip off Dec. 22, and with federal and provincial restrictions around COVID-19 potentially keeping the Raptors out of Scotiabank Arena, there’s been rampant speculation about where the 2019 NBA champions will play.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif took to social media to advocate for the Raptors to play there.

Mahomes, the 2020 Super Bowl MVP, posted on Twitter “Bring them to KC!” with a flexed-arm emogi, to which Mayor Lucas replied: “Working on it.”

On Tuesday morning, the mayor wrote: “Good morning, Kansas City! It’s currently 13 degrees colder here than in Toronto (7 degrees Celsius),” with the hashtag “We the North.”

The Chiefs’ right guard Duvernay-Tardif, a medical school graduate from Quebec who opted out of the NFL season due to concerns around COVID-19, replied: “Merci monsieur! Definitely feels like home,” with a happy face.

The T-Mobile Center in Kansas City has close to 19,000 seats for basketball. The 13-year-old downtown arena has hosted games in the NCAA women’s and men’s basketball championships as well as NBA and NHL pre-season games.

Kansas City, Louisville, Ky., Hartford, Conn., and the New York area have been some of the suggestions as temporary home courts for Toronto.

Raptors spokesperson Jennifer Quinn, however, told The Canadian Press on Tuesday “Our focus is on playing in Toronto.”

After the federal government denied the Toronto Blue Jays permission to play at Rogers Centre this season, the Major League Baseball team played home games in Buffalo, N.Y., after politicians from just across the border pitched the city as a temporary home.

All three Canadian Major League Soccer teams have been playing recent home games in the United States. Toronto FC is in East Hartford, Conn., the Montreal Impact are in Harrison, N.J., and the Vancouver Whitecaps are in Portland.

TFC coach Greg Vanney told reporters Tuesday he’d love to have the Raptors in Connecticut.

“I don’t think our hotel could accommodate both of us at the same time, but it would be great to have them nearby,” Vanney said.

The Connecticut experience has been excellent, the coach said.

“For me . . . it’s the living situation, and the field,” Vanney said. “Those are the most important things, and so far the place that we’ve been staying has been phenomenal in terms of the living conditions, the food and everything has been great.”

He said some of the fields have been “touch and go” as the weather gets colder.

“(But) In terms of basketball, I assume you find a court and the court is generally the same, so it’s doable.”

Toronto FC’s hotel is across the street from the XL Center in Hartford, a potential home arena for the Raptors. It seats around 16,000 for University of Connecticut basketball games, and is also home to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League.

The Harry A. Gampel Pavilion in nearby Storrs, Conn., seats just over 10,000 and also hosts some UConn basketball games.

The Raptors haven’t played a game at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena since Feb. 28, a 99-96 loss to Charlotte. The 2019 NBA champions were ousted in the second round of the playoffs by Boston once the season resumed in the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World in Florida.

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