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  • Columbia Hockey Writers

Astro vs. Alexis


Mark Rassell,

The world watched the NHL’s weird and wild draft lottery play out on Monday evening. The lottery resulted in the New York Rangers winning the 1st overall pick and the chance to draft the highly sought-after Alexis Lafrenière. Social media blew up with fans talking about the French-Canadian heading for New York City. Not long after the Rangers won the lottery did their fans make the connection to another French-Canadian superstar currently tearing up the rinks in the Manhattan area: Ben “Astro” Vermette.

I went into the streets of Manhattan to get some initial reactions from fans about the potential impact Lafrenière could have on hockey in New York City, but the conversation kept shifting from Alexis to Astro. “If this kid can become anything like Astro has, then the Rags will be fine,” said one woman from Soho. “There is only enough room in my heart for one French-Canadian-young-adult-male-left-handed-shot hockey player,” said a man in Central Park. A nearby jogger also heard the conversation about Astro and sprinted over to engage in a heated debate comparing the two players. As I snuck away from the debate, more Central Park joggers joined and the debates turned violent. This violence spurred a great idea for an article: I should compare the two players.


Astro is listed as 5’11” while Alexis is listed as 6’1”. Alexis also weighs more coming in at 192 pounds while Astro comes in at 174 pounds on Earth, which is 65.5 pounds on planet Mars (source: Math). Some people may give the advantage to Lafrenière in the physical category, but those people are forgetting that this is New York City. NYC is a very congested city so having a smaller frame actually works in favour of Astro because he will not be bumped into on the street as much on his way to the gym or practice, allowing more time for Astro to get better. These fans also did not consider the fact that Astro’s smaller frame is actually cost friendly because it requires less material to make a custom-fit spacesuit in case both players were tasked with playing the first hockey game on Mars.

Winner: Astro


Lafrenière had 112 points in 52 games this past season while Astro had 55 points in 17 games. If they had played the same amount of games, Astro would have had accumulated 168 points. 168 is much more than 112 (source: math) so it is easy to say Astro had a better season. Astro also played at the collegiate level while Alexis played at the junior level. Putting up more points in a tougher league is a definite advantage for Astro.

Winner: Astro

New York City Experience:

Astro has lived in New York City for two years already. He has played so many games in front of the wild fans of Manhattan that at this point he doesn’t even notice them. “Sometimes, it feels like there aren’t even any fans in the stands, that’s how accustomed I am to playing in New York City” Astro said in an exclusive phone interview. Alexis has never played a game in New York City. Two years ago, Lafrenière represented Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships in New York state, which some fans would argue for New York experience. The problem is the tournament took place in Buffalo, which is not New York City.

Winner: Astro

Astro looking for Alexis Lafreniere on Amsterdam Ave


While both players are from Quebec, Astro is from Saint-Agapit and Lafrenière is from Saint-Eustache. Saint-Agapit has a population of 3,567 and the mayor is named Yves Gingras. Saint-Eustache is a suburb of Montreal with a population of 44,154 and an average hotel rating of 3-stars.

Winner: Astro

Map of Quebec

Other intangibles:

Astro spoke at a Ted Talk conference in Quebec at the age of 16. Lafrenière did not. Astro will be the first person on Mars. Lafrenière has yet to publicly express any interest in leaving Earth. Astro was also (briefly) on the real KETO diet while Alexis refused to disclose his diet.

Winner: Draw

Ben Vermette Speaking at Ted Talk (Not Alexis)


In all relevant categories, Astro holds the advantages over Alexis. Astro is clearly better suited for hockey in New York City and continues to shine brighter than any other celebrities people may encounter in the Big Apple. Lafrenière’s inexperience was a major factor in determining his likelihood of success in the city.

Not Included In Comparison:

Lafrenière recently was awarded the CHL’s player of the year award for the second straight year becoming only the second player to ever accomplish that feat, behind former #1 overall pick and current Pittsburgh Penguin captain Sidney Crosby. Lafrenière also was named MVP of the World Junior Championships this past season as he led Canada to a gold medal with 10 points in 5 games.

Mark Rassell is currently a Junior Reporter for the Columbia University Men’s Hockey Team. Due to constant mislocations and Twitter controversies, he may soon be out of a job. You can donate to his GoFundMe campaign using the twitter hashtag #ReUnReDePromoteRass. You can follow his latest controversial statements on Twitter @Mark_Rassell.

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