Lucas Raymond had a great rookie year in the 21-22 season for the Detroit Red Wings and came out swinging after making the team roster right out of training camp with an assist in the season opener. He followed it up with a goal in his third game and stepped it up even further with a hat trick in his sixth NHL outing.
Raymond went on to play in all 82 regular season games last year and ended up with 23 goals and 34 assists for 57 points. Raymond was one of the three finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy honoring the NHL’s rookie of the year, although the award eventually went to his teammate Moritz Seider.
Raymond’s second season with the Detroit Red Wings did not start as he had hoped. He didn’t score any goals and only managed two assists in the season’s first seven games. It looked like he may be at the beginning of a sophomore slump. Since then, Raymond has been able to turn his season around and has not gone more than three games in a row without a point.
Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond is on track to improve on his impressive rookie campaign.
At the halfway mark of the season, Raymond is on pace to surpass the offensive output of his rookie year and end up with 26 goals and 34 assists. I think he will be able to beat those numbers and predict that he will score roughly 30 goals and 40 assists. There have been so many times this season where he has been in a perfect position and had a great opportunity only to get robbed by the opposing goalie.
As he gains experience, he will get better at converting these chances into goals and has the potential to be a 40-goal scorer. Having the instincts and hockey I.Q. to be in the right place at the right time, like he has been, is important; he’ll improve his finishing skill as he goes. After being moved around in the lineup this season, he has ended up back on the top line with Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi and has been a member of the power play units all season long.
If Raymond can stay healthy for the most part and keep learning the game, there is no reason he can’t be a big part of the Detroit Red Wings for many years. The only possible problem is salary cap space in the future. According to capfriendly.com, Raymond will become a Restricted Free Agent at the end of the 24-25 season, along with Seider and Jonatan Berggren.
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If all three of them continue to play as they have been, they will all be looking for raises, along with Michael Rasmussen and Filip Hronek, who also will be up for new contracts at that time. Depending on how team contracts go between now and then, there could be some tough decisions to make for Steve Yzerman and the Detroit Red Wings front office. With his age and performance so far, I don’t see Raymond having trouble working out a deal with the team as long as he is reasonable.