With the Fourth Pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the Detroit Red Wings Have Selected Lucas Raymond From Frolunda HC of the SHL.
About Lucas Raymond
It’s no secret that Lucas Raymond was one of the best prospects coming out of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and it’s even less surprising that he finds himself taken so early at No. 4 overall.
A dynamic player who can take over a game offensively and possesses the skillset and hustle to play a good two-way role for a player his age, Raymond has all the tools of a legitimate star in the NHL if he can translate his game from the larger ice surface to the North American ice in addition to the change in style between the SHL and NHL.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt
Lucas Raymond is a boy among men in Sweden, but you wouldn’t know it with the way he plays hockey in the SHL.
A tremendously smart player who consistently makes all the right decisions on both ends of the ice, Raymond has done everything but produce offensively to create a name for himself among scouts. While he may not have an attractive stat-line to look at, just four goals and 10 points in 33 games this season with Frolunda, Raymond is regularly noticeable during each shift despite playing the entire season at 17 years old.
A good skater with elite straight-line speed, Raymond has the ability to blow past his opposition and use his creativity to develop the play for his teammates. He’s also capable of using solid lateral edge-work to skate around opponents in the neutral zone and blast into the offensive zone with a head of steam.
His skating is more a testament to his creativity than his actual skating ability itself, however, and it’ll be interesting to see how he eventually adjusts to the smaller rink in North America.
The biggest positive that’s visible when watching Raymond is how creative he is as a playmaker and how effortless his decision-making seems to be with each shift. He has a legitimate claim for the title of “best playmaker” in the entire draft class.
Don’t be fooled by the hype surrounding Raymond’s playmaking ability, however, as he’s also an effective finisher and could produce at an elite level in the NHL if he can build on his already-impressive wrist shot.
Related: 2020 NHL Draft Guide
More than just an offensive threat, Raymond is the full package and is capable of playing an effective 200-foot game. This comes with the territory for such a smart player but while so many high-IQ prospects excel in the offensive zone, Raymond has put in the time and effort to excel on both ends of the ice from the wing.
His ability to play bigger than his size suggests is also a plus as he can play both a physical-style of play and a finesse-style of play depending on the situation. His upper-body strength is a surprising feature given his frame and he still has room to improve even further in this area with time and training.
How This Affects the Red Wings Plans
For the Red Wings, this gives them a player who already looks NHL-ready but who could benefit from some more time playing overseas and even potentially developing and honing his craft for a year in the AHL before having him jump to the NHL.
For teams looking for impact players early in the Draft, the need to win in the short-term often doesn’t exist. This gives them the option to slowly ease them into the grind of NHL play rather than having them jump right into the fire. For the Red Wings, this is very much the case.
Related: 2020 NHL Draft Tracker
A team that has one of the best prospect pools in the NHL, the rebuild is already well underway for the Red Wings. They could very quickly turn things around in Detroit and return to form as one of the standards in the NHL.