Red Wings Role Call is assessing every player who held a significant place in the fortunes of the 2021-22 Detroit Red Wings season. We’ll be looking at the highs and lows they experienced during the just-completed campaign, as well as what the future holds for them in Detroit. Today, we feature left wing Lucas Raymond
Position: Left wing
2021-22 totals (GP-G-A-P): 82-23-34-57
Contract Status: One year remaining at $925,000 AAV
Steve Yzerman admits he wasn’t counting on Lucas Raymond starting the 2021-22 season with the Detroit Red Wings.
“I thought Moritz could play in the league,” Yzerman said. “I had no idea what kind of impact he would have. And with Lucas Raymond, really at the start of the year, we felt like he didn’t play a lot in the Swedish League last year. We weren’t sure that he’d be ready and we were kind of planning for him not to be ready and each step of the training camp and preseason he hung in there and he excelled and made the team.”
Not only did Raymond make the team, he posted one of the better rookie seasons in Red Wings history. Raymond netted his first NHL hat trick in his seventh game in the league. His 23 goals were same number scored by Dylan Larkin in his first NHL season. Raymond and Larkin played together the entire season.
“He’s got that ability to control the pace of the game,” Larkin said. “It’s hard to do. It takes a lot of hockey sense and creativity. He’s got all the tools to do it. His skill has stuck out from Day One for me. He just makes the right play. How he controls the game, we’ve seen it at times. It’s only going to get better. Young players continue to get better. I really think that’s going to happen for him.”
Raymond and Seider both established themselves as foundation blocks for the Red Wings ongoing rebuild.
2021-22 Red Wings Highlights
No Detroit Red Wings’ teenager reached 20 assists faster than Raymond. He registered 20 assists in just 36 games, three games faster than even Steve Yzerman.
Raymond’s 57 points ranked third among NHL rookie scorers. His total was also the highest point total by a Red Wings rookie since Nicklas Lidstrom posted 60 in 1991-92
Raymond posted 11 multiple-point games, including a four-point game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 24
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) October 26, 2021
2021-22 Red Wings Lowlights
Scored only one goal over 23 games from Dec. 4 until Feb. 7, but did manage 13 assists. He was -27 over his last 27 games, although that was more a reflection of the team’s struggles than Raymond’s level of play.
Lucas Raymond became the fastest teenager in @DetroitRedWings history to reach 20 NHL assists (36 GP), eclipsing franchise icon Steve Yzerman (39 GP).
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 10, 2022
What Does His Detroit Future Hold?
Lucas Raymond has the quick release, sizzling shot and anticipation to be an elite NHL scorer for many years. But it shortchanges his talent to label him “a scorer.” He’s an elite all-around player.
“Lucas is young but he’s a very good two-way player, smart,” former Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said late in the season.
Raymond benefitted by playing on a line with Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi for much of the season. They could turn his passes into goals. But playing with those two also challenged Raymond because they were always matched up against the opponent’s top players.
“(That line) can attract the other team’s best defensemen and a lot of times is either going to (face) the other team’s best players or best checkers,” Blashill said. “So (what Raymond accomplished) is pretty impressive.”
Eighteen of Raymond’s goals came at even-strength. “Raymond does have good vision,” Blashill said. “He’s got real good poise with the puck. I think where he’s gained through the course of the season is his confidence level in those situations that he can spend a little more time with the puck and make some plays and he’s got real ability to do that. He’s just going to continue to grow. He’s got a great competitiveness. He wants to be a great player and he wants to win and those are great qualities.”
Nobody on the Red Wings speculates about how many goals Raymond will average when he’s in his prime. All we know for sure is that he has a high ceiling.