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Red Wings Raymond To Play for Sweden At Worlds

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Detroit Red Wings, Lucas Raymond
Red Wings rookie forward Lucas Raymond will be playing for Sweden at the upcoming IIHF World Championship.

Lucas Raymond is the first Detroit Red Wings player to be confirming that he’ll be playing in the upcoming IIHF World Championship. Through Swedish media site Aftonbladet, Raymond was announcing his intentions to play for Sweden in next month’s world tourney.

“Of course it would be a lot of fun to play the World Cup, it’s something I grew up watching,” Raymond is quoted as saying by Aftonbladet. “It’s something I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid.

“To be able to represent Sweden is always an honor. It’s sad that we did not make it to the playoffs, but it opens up opportunities with that.”

Raymond A Sensation For Red Wings

The Red Wings rookie forward, who has accounted for 23 goals and 56 points in his first NHL season, indicated that the only factor that could prevent his participation would be if he suffered some sort of injury in one of Detroit’s final two regular-season games this week.

“Exactly, that’s it,” Raymond said. “There is a lot that comes into play, but it is obvious that I always want to play. Especially when it is so close to Sweden, and family and friends can come over and check it out. It would be enormously cool.”

The IIHF Men’s World Championship will be held in Tampere and Helsinki, Finland from May 13-29.

Swedish coach Johan Garpenlov, himself a forrmer Red Wings forward, met with Raymond in Detroit on March 8 to discuss his participation in the worlds. Raymond later met with Swedish assistant coaches Marcus Ragnarsson and Markus Åkerblom.

While he’s represented his homeland in the U17, U18, and U20 age groups, this would be Raymond’s first opportunity to play for the Swedish National Team at the full senior level.

Blashill Coaching With USA Hockey

Earlier this month, USA Hockey officially announced its coaching staff for the worlds. Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill will be serving as an assistant coach to David Quinn.

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“Anytime I get a chance to do that I’d fill water bottles, I’d tape sticks, I’d do pretty much anything to help us win a gold, something we haven’t done in a long, long time, really in the modern era,” Blashill said. “I think we’re close, I think we’re going to, and I want to be a part of it.”

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