The Detroit Red Wings should be happy with how well Lucas Raymond has played after coming back from his big off-season of putting in work. The Swedish forward has done a lot to get in better shape, add some weight into the frame, and reap the benefits on the ice.
It's something the Detroit Red Wings should be happy with in year three, seeing Lucas Raymond come out and perform well. He's made some improvements to his game, and the results have been great. The right-handed shooting winger has plenty to like about him and has been great in year three.
That being said, we're breaking down Raymond's first half and talking through what he has done for Detroit in the first half with his midseason report card. The 21-year-old still has a ways to go, but there's plenty to be said about him in year three, with what could-be, moving forward.
Detroit's strengthened depth throughout the lineup has only helped players like Raymond find ways to get the job done. He's been a critical piece of this offense and has only helped Detroit as they continue to push for a postseason berth.
Detroit Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond has taken significant strides.
This off-season, the big thing that was said about Raymond was that he needed to come out and make improvements. He got hit by a sophomore slump in his second year with the Red Wings organization. He took a slight step back offensively from where he was in his rookie campaign.
It's something that has left some folks concerned, but Raymond has done a good job of silencing that crowd in 2023-24. He put in the work this off-season, improving his build and being able to hit the ice hard with a better caliber of play this season.
Raymond's off-season improvements have been great in the first half of the season. Raymond has 50 games played, where he has scored 13 goals and added 28 assists for 41 total points. Between his new and improved frame and better linemates, the Red Wings have seen Raymond play quite well.
He has nearly surpassed last year's point total of 55 and is just 16 short of this 2022-23 total of 57. He's on pace to break that if he can come out in the second half and continue at the same pace he has managed thus far. It'd be a huge sign of improvement and really be a breakout performance.
Raymond is a big piece of the puzzle in Detroit; there's no denying that. Seeing him come out in 2023-24 and succeed like he has is a victory in itself. But Raymond's been solid in terms of offense. His minus-13 rating could be more pleasing, but he grades out fine in terms of his possession metrics. It's just something to monitor the rest of the way.
The tune of handing out A's continues, but Raymond deserves it. This A+ is a for the midseason grade, but I felt the need to juice his grade a hair after his offseason of improvements. Especially since they have worked out for him. The change in nutrition and off-season development regimen led to better performance, which is worth noting.
The Red Wings need Raymond to anchor their offense; there's no doubt about that. If Raymond can close in on his rookie year point total and surpass it, it would likely give Steve Yzerman enough motivation to hand out a nice extension. After all, Raymond and Moritz Seider are the two prized possessions in terms of youngsters, and both need extensions.
I like Raymond's odds of posting a breakout year in terms of his offensive numbers. There's something to be said about what he's done to this point and how well he has played with the increase in support from the other players within the forward core.