While the Red Wings’ 2020 fourth overall pick may haven’t had the jump in scoring as many expected entering this past season, there are still many positives to take away from Lucas Raymond’s sophomore season.
While Raymond’s production dipped from 23 goals and 57 points to 17 goals and 45 points, albeit in eight fewer games, he was pushed for ice time on a deeper roster. With the added pressure, Raymond took out unnecessary risks in his game and was more responsible defensively. The addition of David Perron not only helped the Red Wings as a whole but also helped Raymond earn those top-line and first powerplay minutes, as the two competed for the same spots being the same handedness and position.
During his end-of-season media availability, Lucas Raymond confirmed he would join Team Sweden next month.
Raymond joins teammates Olli Maatta (Finland), Joe Veleno (Canada) and coaches Alex Tanguay (Canada) and Derek Lalonde (USA) as Red Wings representatives at the tournament.
“I felt good. I think I grew on the ice and off the ice as well. I want to continue to take steps and have a good summer and keep building.” Raymond said on Wednesday.
When asked about his consistency, Raymond admitted that was an area he needed to improve in.
“For sure, that’s a big part of the game (consistency). You want to be a consistent player. It’s about figuring out what you need to do to be that.”
Raymond will be looking for a reset after an up-and-down 2022-23 campaign, which all starts with the 2023 World Championships held in Riga, Latvia.
Playing in a competitive tournament with the likes of Elias Pettersson and Rasmus Dahlin against other NHL talent will benefit Raymond. Aside from the smaller ice sheet, the most challenging adjustment for European players is an 82-game season.
In his first two seasons, Raymond had stretches of being a top-line player and others where he wasn’t as noticeable. Playing another few weeks while representing your country for a gold medal will help prepare Raymond for long seasons that hopefully carry over into May and June.
This summer is crucial not only for Lucas Raymond but also for the success of the Red Wings. Without lottery luck during their rebuild, the Red Wings have struggled to find elite talent up front. It feels that Raymond is their best chance at finding another elite play driver within the organization other than Dylan Larkin.