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Red Wings Star Excited to Play With World Class Players

Raymond filling bumper role



Lucas Raymond
Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond is part of Sweden's star-studded top power-play unit.

No offense to Dylan Larkin and Moritz Seider, but when Detroit Red Wings star Lucas Raymond looks around at his compatriots on Sweden’s first power-play unit at the world championship, he can’t help but be a bit star struck.

“It’s really cool to play with the best players in the world,” Raymond told Swedish website

The Swedish power play went two-for-five Sunday as the Swedes were whipping Poland 5-1 to win their second successive game. In a 5-2 tournament-opening win over the USA, Sweden was never getting a chance to go to work with the man advantage.

Raymond Part Of Dangerous Unit

Along with Raymond, Sweden’s first power-play unit consists of Erik Karlsson of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning on the points. It’s Hedman who is serving as power-play quarterback, enabling the dangerous Karlsson to freelance in the attacking zone.

Up front, Joel Eriksson-Ek of the Minnesota Wild works the net front, while Adrian Kempe is shooting from the flank. Sweden is deploying Raymond as deployed as the bumper. That’s the role Larkin is usually filling on the first PP unit in Detroit.

“With “Jolla” in front of goal, we have a player who is used to playing there and is very good at it,” Swedish coach Sam Hallam told Swedish website “Hedman is on the point in Tampa and doing well. Adrian is a sharp shooter and has a calmness and a nice swag about his game.

“With “Ray” in the middle, we get direct chances and Erik threatens both with the shot and with the play from one side.”

Raymond who has scored even-strength goals in both of Sweden’s wins, has worked some in the bumper role with the Red Wings. He led Detroit with 31 goals this season, six of which came on the power play.

“I have played in that position there in the middle quite a bit during the season,” Raymond said. “I try to be an option under pressure but also take shots and second pucks.”

In the Poland game, both the top unit and the No. 2 unit of Rasmus Dahlin, Marcus Johansson, Fabian Zetterlund, Andre Burakovsky and Victor Olofsson were scoring power-play goals.

Red Wings Raymond Excited By Top D Pairing

Karlsson and Hedman, both Norris Trophy winners, are also working as a pairing five on five.

“It is rare to have Erik Karlsson and Victor Hedman in the same power play,” Raymond said. “In addition, we have them in the same back pair.

“It’s a lot of fun.”