Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond named alternate captain, scores on opening day

Lucas Raymond scored against fellow Detroit Red Wings goaltender in Sweden's 5-2 victory over the USA on the IIHF World Championships opening day.
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Fresh off being named an alternate captain for Team Sweden, budding star Lucas Raymond scored against his Detroit Red Wings teammate Alex Lyon on the opening day of the World Championships.

Team Sweden recently named Erik Karlsson the captain of the current tournament, and the alternates are Raymond and star defenseman Victor Hedman. I must say, the 'A' on Raymond's sweater looks excellent and quite fitting. It's safe to say it won't be long before the budding star forward earns the right to wear that 'A' on his sweater for the Detroit Red Wings, possibly as soon as next year, depending on how the summer goes for general manager Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings.

It could occur organically. Current alternate captain and pending unrestricted free agent David Perron's future with the organization is up in the air. If he doesn't return and head coach Derek Lalonde continues to rotate three alternates, Raymond seems like the logical choice. It doesn't take a genius to realize that in the near future, Raymond and Moritz Seider will have 'A's' stitched over their hearts and a significant part of Detroit's leadership for years to come.

Lucas Raymond helped lead Team Sweden over Team USA on the opening day of the World Championships.

Raymond scored early in the second frame with a gorgeous short-side snipe past Red Wings teammate Alex Lyon.

Team Sweden skated to a 5-2 victory over the USA. Lyon was the starting goaltender, with Red Wings prospect Trey Augustine serving as the backup. The third goaltender on the roster is former Red Wings netminder Alex Nedeljkovic. Also on the American squad is Red Wings defenseman Jeff Petry. Derek Lalonde and Alex Westlund are part of the coaching staff.

Raymond, 22, became a star in 2023-24, leading the Detroit Red Wings with 72 points and a 19% shooting percentage this past season while averaging slightly less than 18 minutes of ice time per game. That point total included 31 goals, which finished second on the team behind Dylan Larkin's 33, and 41 assists, which were second to Shayne Gostisbehere's 46.

Here's what I feel is Raymond's most impressive feat from this past season: He scored 14 goals in Detroit's final 18 games and totaled seven goals and 12 points over the team's final eight games while maintaining a plus-8 rating playing over 20 minutes per night. That, with the Red Wings scratching and clawing for a playoff spot until the final minute of their final game. Your best players need to step up when the going gets tough, and Raymond certainly did that over the final stretch of the regular season.