Four days ago, Hockeytown was overjoyed. The Red Wings officially signed 2020 top pick Lucas Raymond to a three-year, entry level contract. The deal with the Swede will begin next season. Before we dive into what that means, let’s remind ourselves of Lucas Raymond as a prospect.
Lucas Raymond – Just WOW!
Raymond is an incredibly young player who just turned 19 years old in March. Yet, he looks like a seasoned veteran on the ice. He was regarded as the best playmaker in the draft but excels at much more as a right-winger.
His stick handling is phenomenal. As cliche as it is in hockey, the puck legitimately looks like it’s on a string. His vertical quickness and ability to blow by opponents is also very impressive.
Raymond can score as well. He uses his high hockey IQ to trick defenses and put the puck in the back of the net. His finishing could use some work, according to scouts,
Despite being just 5-foot-11, he can play physical. Raymond often uses his body like Isaiah Thomas in the NBA to create separation between the puck and his opponent.
Also, Lucas Raymond is also persistent on the defensive end. This can be shown in the forecheck and at center ice. Most importantly, he shows awareness in getting poke checks and intercepting passes. Raymond can apply pressure to his opponent and then blow by him on the opposite end.
In short, there is just one major takeaway: WOW. This guy is legit.
His Future in Detroit
Most likely, Raymond will come to Detroit as a Griffins tryout player. In the absolute best-case scenario, he does well enough to make the Wings roster. This move could see Lucas Raymond spending time in both Grand Rapids and Detroit.
The second option could see Raymond in a Filip Zadina-like situation. The young winger could develop and get used to the American game in Grand Rapids before being a late-season call-up.
The third scenario could see Zadina sent back to Sweden for another season or at least part of one. After that, he could be brought back to Grand Rapids to become a member of Detroit’s system.
Regardless of what happens next season, Raymond will be a welcome addition to the future of the Red Wings. He will be a great complement on a high scoring line with Filip Zadina at LCA hopefully for years to come. Couple that with the presence of hard-hitting Moritz Seider, a slew of draft picks, and the team will have a great young core for the future