Detroit Red Wings: Lucas Raymond looks to build on stellar rookie season

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

Lucas Raymond, 20, will look to build on a stellar rookie season which saw him finish fourth in Calder Trophy voting last season. The Calder Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s top rookie, was awarded to Moritz Seider last season. Having two of the top four rookies in the league is quite the change from years past, but it’s a breath of fresh air.

As a rookie, Lucas Raymond excelled on Detroit’s top line skating with Tyler Bertuzzi and captain Dylan Larkin. He proved to be wise beyond his years with the puck on his stick. Raymond scored 23 goals and totaled 57 points.

Raymond carried the puck with confidence and proved time and time again that he knows what the ‘right’ play to make is in each situation. The first-year winger without the puck often found the soft area of the offensive zone, making himself available for a scoring chance. With the puck on his stick, he generally created an opportunity for a linemate or a trailing defender.

Heading into year two, Detroit Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond is pushing himself to be better.

Raymond recently mentioned that he’s his biggest critic.

"“The most pressure I got is from myself to get better,” Raymond said. “(I) focus on that as much as possible and block the other things out. Just try to play good hockey and that will lead to a lot of good things.”"

Detroit’s top line of Larkin, Raymond, and Bertuzzi combined for 84 goals and 104 assists, totaling 188 points last season.

Raymond also mentioned a few areas he needs to improve heading into 2022-23.

"“I want to take the puck to the net more,” said Raymond, who wants to be harder on pucks. “That was one of the things I took away from last season. A lot of goals are scored on rebounds, tips, and tight around the net. That’s a big thing I’ve been trying to focus on. It’s tough to practice; it’s more of a mentality thing, if you want to get there.”"

Expect an even more productive Raymond in year two as he continues to develop at the NHL level.

The Detroit Red Wings made a conscious effort to add depth scoring this offseason through free agency. The additions of Andrew Copp, David Perron, and Dominik Kubalik will lengthen Detroit’s lineup, opening up even more scoring opportunities for players like Filip Zadina, Jakub Vrana, Michael Rasmussen, and Pius Suter.

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Also, adding Copp and Perron, in particular, will bolster Detroit’s power-play units, creating more offensive opportunities for that trio of top-line forwards.