Detroit Red Wings rookie forward Lucas Raymond is positioning himself to enjoy an epic first NHL campaign. Yes, it’s still very early, and projections are just that – possibilities, not certainties – but 17 games into his inaugural NHL season, Raymond is displaying no indications that he’s going to slow down.
“He’s a really even-keeled guy,” Red Wings teammate Sam Gagner said of Raymond. “He comes to the rink every day and he’s real happy. He’s excited for the opportunity.”
Entering Tuesday’s game at Dallas against the Stars, Raymond is showing seven goals and 10 assists through 17 games.
No look? No problem.
What a pass from Lucas Raymond! pic.twitter.com/YhAEiLeUyV
— NHL (@NHL) November 16, 2021
“His hockey IQ stands out,” Gagner said. “He’s one of those guys who’s kind of always in the right spot. The puck follows him. He’s been very impressive in every area. It’s been fun to watch so far.”
You don’t need to be a mathematical whiz to calculate what that 17 points in 17 games projects to over an 82-game season.
Raymond is currently on a point-a-game pace. And these days, when it comes to rookies, maintaint that level of productivity would put him among some exclusive NHL company.
Rare Rookie Feat For Red Wings And NHL
In the history of the league, taking into consideration players who produced at least 50 points and skated a minimum of 50 games as first-year NHLers, just 34 rookies have managed to maintain a point-per-game pace over an entire season.
Through the past 15 campaign, just one player has done so – Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders. Barzal collected 22-6-3-85 numbers in 82 games during he 20017-18 season.
Take it back to the beginning of the post lockout era and the list grows to four – Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins (78-33-52-85 in 2006-07) and Sidney Crosby (81-39-63-102 in 2005-06) of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alex Ovechkin (81-52-54-106 in 2005-06) of the Washington Capitals.
That’s some pretty good company to be keeping.
In Red Wings history, this group is even more exclusive. Just two players have managed to post a point-a-game pace over their rookie season with the club.
— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) November 16, 2021
One of them is the fellow who chose Raymond fourth overall in the 2020 NHL entry draft. Current Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman was a Detroit rookie in 1983-84, posting 39-48-87 numbers in 80 games. In 1990-91, Sergei Fedorov put up 31-48-79 totals in 77 games.
If he maintains his current pace, Raymond, 19, would be just the fourth teenager in the past 30 years to average a point a game. Connor McDavid (30-70-100 in 2016-17) of the Edmonton Oilers and Steven Stamkos (51-44-95 in 2009-10) both did it at the age of 19.
Crosby accomplished the feat twice. There was his aforementioned 18-year-old season in 2005-06. Sid The Kid did it again with 36-84-120 numbers at 19 in 2006-07.