Analysis: Lucas Raymond running out of steam in Detroit

Lucas Raymond is in the stretch run of his rookie season with the Detroit Red Wings. Heading into tonight’s game, Raymond appears to be running out of steam, as he has played every game for the Red Wings this season. Raymond has been one of the top rookie scorers in the NHL all season long. Raymond is currently tied with Trevor Zegras for 2nd in rookie, scoring 55 points.

It’s Been a Long Season

The grind of an NHL season is difficult for all players, and Raymond is no exception. Before this season, Raymond was used to playing less than 50 games. By the end of this season, Raymond will have played almost double the games he played last year.

Last season, at the age of 18, Raymond played his first entire season of professional hockey in the SHL. In 34 regular season games playing for Frolunda, Raymond scored six goals, 12 assists, 18 points, and had a +1 rating. Raymond also played five games in the IIHF World Junior Championships as a member of Team Sweden, where he scored two goals, three assists, five points, and a +2 rating.

This season, Raymond wasn’t initially scheduled to start the year with Detroit. A shoulder injury to Jakub Vrana in training camp led to an opening on Detroit’s top line. Raymond jumped at the opportunity and hasn’t looked back. In 73 games, Raymond has scored 22 goals, 33 assists, 55 points, and a troubling -26 rating.

Second Half Struggles

The entire Detroit Red Wings team has struggled during the second half of the season. After initially being in the running for a Wild Card playoff spot, the Red Wings have completely self-imploded during the second half. This self-destruction has been well documented over the last month, with numerous losses and a league record of 28 empty-net goals against.

Raymond recently turned 20, and he looks like he is wearing down as the season has dragged along. In his last ten games, Raymond has scored two goals, and both of those goals were scored against Ottawa during Detroit’s 5-2 loss at home on April 1st.

During Raymond’s last 19 games, dating back to March 4, Raymond has scored six goals, six assists, 12 points, and a disappointing -23 rating. To cut Raymond some slack, some of these even-strength goals against happened at the end of games, while the goaltender was pulled.

Expectations for Next Year

Expectations moving forward will be high for the former 4th overall pick from the 2020 draft. He will likely be a finalist for the Calder Trophy and has had a terrific first year playing on the top line in Detroit. Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi have been tremendous linemates. He has also found a best friend in fellow rookie Moritz Seider making the transition away from his homeland that much easier.

One year of experience, where he has been averaging 18:15 of playing time, has done wonders for Detroit’s top young forward. A summer in the gym where he will undoubtedly get stronger, coupled with the opportunity to play for Sweden at the IIHF World Championships, should prepare Raymond for another season of NHL hockey where he will take his game to the next level for the Red Wings.

Chris Giles

Chris Giles is a former junior hockey player and coach from Canada. He has been a diehard Detroit Red Wings fan for almost 50 years. Chris is an avid golfer who has volunteered at several PGA and Canadian Open Championships throughout North America.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ECHL Game Recap: Wheeling Nailers vs Indy Fuel Series | 04/20/2024

The Indy Fuel met with the Wheeling Nailers Friday night in Indianapolis for game two of their Kelly Cup Playoff series. Indy won 5-2 in the first game, with lots of heavy hits and challenging plays. The Wheelers want to tie this series as they return to their barn for game three. Looking to tonight’s […]

Read More

Joe Fleming’s AHL Debut

Savannah Joe Fleming thought his season was over on April 14th when the Ghost Pirates did not make the Kelly Cup Playoffs. This week, He got the call that his season wasn’t over; he was being called to the AHL Henderson Silver Knights.  Fleming is no stranger to Henderson. He has been called up a […]

Read More

NHL Game Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins | Game 1

Boston, MA – The Toronto Maple Leafs finished the 2023-2024 regular season third-place in the Atlantic and enter playoffs with a round-one series against the Boston Bruins. The Leafs come into the series as the underdog and will look to show a playoff style of hockey tonight and throughout the series. The Leafs and Bruins […]

Read More