Lucas Raymond has made the Detroit Red Wings organization make a very tough decision in the coming days. The young forward has been lighting up the score sheet during preseason and has developed some great chemistry with the Captain Dylan Larkin. The two have been on a line together twice in the preseason thus far and have not disappointed.
With Jakub Vrana’s injury, the opening day lineup could very well see younger players like Veleno and Raymond make their way on the team. The young Swedish forward has done nothing but improve since arriving in Traverse City for the Prospect Tournament.
Below you will SEE my three reasons why Lucas Raymond will be part of the Detroit Red Wings opening night.
Raymond was selected 4th overall in the 2020 NHL Draft, similar to his General Manager Steve Yzerman, who was also drafted 4th overall in the 1983 NHL Draft. Yzerman also fought to be on the big club to start his career. Once he made it, he never looked back. Raymond has made an immediate impact since joining the team and has really taken off since the start of preseason.
The 19-year old has amassed six points in only three preseason games. The creativity he showed on the sideboards as well as winning puck battles creating scoring chances for his teammates have really caught the eye of coaches and the fanbase. He could provide the scoring touch this team desperately needs.
The second reason Raymond will make this team is his talent on the Power Play. Lucas has scored four points on special teams this preseason and has proved he has a wicked shot that can beat even great goaltenders like Vezina winner Marc-Andre Fleury. The team is desperate to turn their special teams around after only converting on only 11.4% of chances last year.
The Red wings scored four Power Play goals against Chicago last night on only five opportunities. Raymond was a driving force on the first unit, once again paired with Larkin. Look for the team to use his creative ability as well as a new coaching scheme via Alex Tanguay, that could really open some opportunities for his teammates and himself.
This last reason is due to an unfortunate event. Jakub Vrana injured his shoulder while participating in his first practice at training camp, which caused him to have surgery and could miss 4-5 months. With a player that was expected to lead the team in offense this year on the shelf others will have to step up.
I love players like Rasmussen, Smith and newcomer Carter Rowney, however they are not going to be able to make up the offensive gap that an injury like Vrana’s has created. Raymond possesses the ability to finish when given the opportunity as well as making the correct decisions when it comes to dissecting a penalty kill. He is Detroit’s strongest chance to make up for the production that will be lost with the absence of Vrana.