Detroit Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond was wanting to play for Sweden at the August IIHF World Junior Championship. Swedish coach Tomas Monten was wanting to include Raymond as part of his squad.
According to Monten, it was the Red Wings who were ultimately making the decision to keep Raymond from participating in the event. The New Jersey Devils are also declining to make forward Alexander Holtz available.
Sweden released its preliminary roster for the upcoming World Juniors in August. Simon Edvinsson and Theodor Niederbach are joined by William Wallinder who did not make the original tournament in December. #LGRW pic.twitter.com/V9Fu7uCldJ
— Red Wings Prospects (@DRWProspects) June 21, 2022
“I have had an ongoing dialogue with them but unfortunately Lucas and Alex will not play,” Monten told Swedish wesbite Expressen.se. “Detroit and New Jersey think the tournament is wrong in time to be optimal in their recharge.”
Raymond Was Hoping To Play
Earlier this summer, prior to the announcement of the selection of the team, Raymond was hopeful of being part of it.
“If the chance comes, you always want to represent Sweden regardless of the environment,” Raymond told Swedish TV network SVT. “But I do not know how it works with rules and what is allowed or not. But of course I would like to play if the chance comes.”
Though eligible for the 2022 world junior, Raymond was not given the chance to play by the Red Wings. Raymond appeared in the 2020 and 2021 world junior, collecting 4-5-9 totals in 12 games.
Hard To Argue With Red Wings
Raymond is an established NHL player. Collecting 23 goals and 57 points while playing all 82 games for Detroit as a rookie, he finished fourth in Calder Trophy voting.
It’s easy to understand why Sweden would want him in their lineup. At the same time, it’s easy to comprehend the reluctance of the Red Wings to send Raymond to play in a tourney that isn’t likely to challenge him or help him develop his skill level.
In fact, it would almost be a slap in his face to ask him to play in the IIHF world juniors after spending the entire 2021-22 NHL season skating on Detroit’s top line.
Red Wings prospects Simon Edvinsson, William Wallinder and Theodor Niederbach will be part of the Swedish squad when the tournament is held Aug. 9-20 in Edmonton. The first atempt to hold the 2022 event in December was scuttled by a COVID-19 outbreak.