Player Profile: Lucas Raymond

Lucas Raymond is a huge part of the Detroit Red Wings future Photo Credit: Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings are off to a solid start. Young players are stepping up and, so far, are avoiding the dreaded “Sophomore slump.” For a Red Wings team nearing the end of a long and somewhat brutal rebuild, players like Lucas Raymond become the focal point of the Red Wings going forward. The young left wing had a solid rookie season for the most part. Let’s take a look at Raymond’s profile.

Raymond Drafted 4th Overall in 2020

The 2020 NHL draft was different than in past drafts. Due to the pandemic, the draft was held in October rather than its usual June time slot. It was during that 2020 draft when the Detroit Red Wings selected Lucas Raymond fourth overall. Raymond started his career in 2018 with Frolunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League.

After Detroit drafted Raymond, he signed his ELC on April 16, 2021, to the tune of 3-years $10,275,000. The elite skating Raymond has been as advertised for the Red Wings. Excellent speed and acceleration with a quick release pushed Raymond to the Red Wings top line; not many rookies start on a top line. Raymond was viewed before the Red Wings 2021 training camp as a player who could push for a roster spot. Needless to say, he did and, as a rookie, was on the top line.

Raymond’s NHL Career

Lucas Raymond is a handful for NHL defensive players. Raymond is hard to knock off the puck as a player who changes direction quickly and has a low center of gravity. Raymond is a significant asset on the power play and has provided a big shot in the arm to a Detroit power play that has needed one for some time now. Raymond is fearless in the corners and getting into the mix.

Given his size (5′ 11″), you would think that Raymond would have some issues in the defensive end. That has not really been the case. With good positioning and effort, Raymond can play in all three zones. While Raymond could absolutely put on more muscle, he can chip in on defense. It will surprise no one if Raymond becomes a stellar two-way player.

Raymond was in the Calder conversation last season; the award for the NHL’s best rookie went to Raymond’s teammate Moritz Seider. Seider won the award over Raymond because he had a more consistent season. Raymond’s rookie numbers of 23 goals, 34-assists, and 57 points were a bit misleading as he had some lapses in his game. However, that should not diminish a solid rookie campaign.

The Detroit Red Wings, as noted, are a team on the rise. Lucas Raymond is a big key to the future. It’s easy to project Raymond’s shot will improve as he puts on more mus; the creativity and playmaking are already there. While he did start this season slowly, Raymond has picked it up and now has six goals. Again, it feels like Raymond is an All-Star to be something you can not always say. All the tools are there.

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