The Detroit Red Wings are off and running on the 2021-22 season. They are going to be a better team than in prior years, but the rebuild is still going on. Prospect Lucas Raymond made the club out of training camp and is more than deserving of the top-six role he has been playing so far.
Even being a couple of games in, it’s good to see Raymond getting good minutes and the Detroit Red Wings giving him competent linemates. So far, Raymond is averaging 15:11 in terms of total ice time which is not half bad, especially when the Red Wings do struggle with that sometimes.
The Red Wings do have a history of putting guys into the wrong spots; ask Filip Zadina, who had spurts where he would be averaging 11 minutes of ice time with bottom-six talent and basically being put in an uphill battle to work on his development.
It’s surely reflective of Raymond and what the organization thinks of him, given that they have bumped him all the way up to that top three. In his first NHL season, Raymond is helping that Red Wings top line find success, playing alongside Tyler Bertuzzi and captain Dylan Larkin.
Detroit Red Wings prospect Lucas Raymond is getting what he deserves.
The question with Raymond is if this type of situation will keep up. I would like to see Raymond stay in this spot and be a part of this team’s first line, but time will tell. It’s early yet; however, Raymond was able to get some jitters out, not the first goal, but the first point.
He may only have one shot on goal over two games, but he has been able to collect his first point by way of an assist. However, the Red Wings knew they were getting more of a playmaker than a 60-goal scorer in Raymond. He’s someone who’s not only going to find ways to score but also put others in a position to score as well.
It’s a long season, and Raymond will have to continue to prove that he deserves his spot, but a top-six role, even in year one, will benefit him immensely. There may be some naysayers, but sticking Raymond with the team’s best talent seems like it’s the right move.
Allowing Raymond the opportunity to keep growing and getting better is what’s going to be important at the end of the day. This year’s stats are not as crucial for Raymond; instead, how he plays and develops is what matters.
Time will tell how things shake out, but the money is undoubtedly on Raymond’s side, and he should be able to keep holding his own in the Red Wings’ top-six forwards.