Red Wings: Lucas Raymond selection hints at return to Swedish roots

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings made a favorable selection at fourth overall with Lucas Raymond; it could also hint at returning to the Swedish talent pools.

There is no secret that some of the Detroit Red Wings‘ past success was built with success out of European and Swedish recruiting. There is no question that Lucas Raymond is going to be a good selection for the organization.

He may have been lower on some of the prospects lists, but Raymond at fourth overall is still going to be incredibly beneficial for the organization as they trek on through the rebuild. Yzerman and his Yzer-plan are going to be greatly added, too, with the selection of Raymond.

Given all of this, take a better look at Lucas Raymond and what this selection means:

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Raymond is a product of Frolunda HC, which plays in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), where he will continue to develop.

He is eighteen years old and has a 5-foot-10, 183-pound frame as a winger over in Sweden.

In 2019-20, Raymond played in the SHL for 33 games, where he had four goals and six assists for ten total points while being a plus-six plus/minus rating.

He also played seven games in the IIHF World Junior Championships, where he scored two goals and two assists for four points.

Raymond also logged fifteen games with the Swedish national team, where he had three goals and three assists for six total points in 2019-20.

Fast forward to 2020, Raymond is playing for Frolunda once again and has notched a goal and an assist for two points in four games.

The Red Wings are getting one heck of a playmaking forward who is considerable to Toronto Maple Leafs forwards Mitch Marner. If Raymond pans out to be similar to Marner, he could easily become a top future linemate of Dylan Larkin.

If not Larkin, maybe Raymond can become linemates with Joseph Veleno, making for a lethal combination. These two will likely spend some time playing alongside each other in the coming years, leaving ample time for that bond to be formed.

Raymond is good at finding open ice and making things happen in the offensive zone. He should excel and be able to keep developing well over in the SHL.

He has flourished and shown defensive skills that could see him develop into a two-way player. Regardless of all that, Raymond is a two-way forward who can even develop into a future top-six threat for this organization.

Could this selection signal the re-emergence of the Swedish pipeline for the Detroit Red Wings?

Raymond coming out of Frolunda could mean that the organization will start targeting more Swedish players to build as Yzerman starts going though his Yzer-plan. The Red Wings relied heavily on the Swedish lines of talent that had brought them success in the past.

During Yzerman’s return to the organization, as GM, he has selected four players from the Swedish leagues. He took Gustav Berglund, Albert Johansson, Albin Grewe, and Elmer Soderblom in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

With the selection of Raymond at fourth, the Red Wings could be trending toward another surge of Swedish talent that allows the Red Wings to get back to the European strategy and style. Yzerman is working on the Yzer-plan, and this could be the start of the upturn.

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Nonetheless, taking Raymond at four is a favorable decision that leaves the organization in a good spot heading into day two of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.