Roughly translated: Henrik Zetterberg discusses Lucas Raymond, Steve Yzerman and Niklas Kronwall with

Former Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg spoke to’s Ronnie Ronnqvist at length regarding the early-season success of one Lucas Raymond. What follows is roughly translated from Swedish:

Henrik Zetterberg praises Lucas Raymond: “A little sensational”

Lucas Raymond is the Detroit Red Wings’ top scorer and leads in the points league for rookies in the NHL. At home in Sweden, the legendary Henrik Zetterberg follows the progress of the great Swedish talent with pleasure.

“You have to say that it’s a bit sensational,” says “Zata” to

After the overnight game between Detroit and Colorado, 19-year-old Lucas Raymond has played in 28 games and has posted 10 goals and 24 total points. With that, he’s the Red Wings’ best scorer thus far. Together with Moritz Seider, he is perhaps the league’s best rookie thus far.

Someone who is impressed with Lucas Raymond is former NHL star and team captain of the Detroit Red Wings, Henrik Zetterberg.

“Before the season, I had hopes that he would get a chance in Detroit, that he would go up and down a little between Detroit and Grand Rapids. That’s what I saw in front of me,” says Henrik Zetterberg to, and he continues:

How did you see the start to his season?

“It must be said that it’s a little bit sensational. There were also a lot of coincidences. Jakub Vrana suffered an injury, needed to have shoulder surgery. Ta da, there was a place in the top six. Lucas got the chance and he took it.”

“It’s not just that there was only one place, but that he really deserved that spot. He’s taken it and now it’s his spot. Had Vrana not gotten hurt, who knows whether he would have gotten the chance immediately.”

“Now he gets to play on the first “PP” (power play) and has played mostly with Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi. It’s a good line and they complement each other very well.”

“Reads the game incredibly well”

Henrik Zetterberg also sees Lucas Raymond as a smart player.

“Lucas has qualities that you don’t see so often in a Swedish player. He plays with a great attitude and is hard-working.”

“I still think the greatest strength is his smartness. He reads the game incredibly well and knows where to be on the ice to get in scoring situations. When he gets into positions, he puts the puck there.”

Of course, Lucas Raymond’s progress has received quite a bit of attention around Michigan and especially Detroit.

“I was there early and watched the first two home games. Then it was a little bit of buzzing about what he’d done well during the preseason, how he got to a good start, and it would be fun to see him, and so on.”

What do you think will be most important for Lucas Raymond if he is to keep up and continue to perform at this level for the rest of the season?

“It’s just to hold on, because it’s a long season, many more games than the SHL. That way it’s very intense. He’s kept an incredibly good pace and form thus far. But then Lucas is very well-trained. In terms of his energy, I don’t think he’ll have problems.”

“I think it’s more about him being able to handle the mental stuff, and be able to be at that high level game after game. It’s probably the most difficult thing when you come over from Europe and over there, that there are so many more games and that the journey is tougher than many think.”

When you yourself came over to Detroit in 2002, what was the toughest part of the social change, and what was on the sidelines, or what was happening on the ice?

“On the side of. That whole bit was the biggest challenge, I thought. The game itself, when I was that age, was more, ‘Now it’s a game, now we drive forward.’ In terms of energy, I managed it pretty well, anyway.”

“I think the mental stuff, that you would be able to handle everything in your head, to be able to turn it on and off all the time. That you’re not ‘on’ all the time. When you’re not in the rink, you switch off and focus on something else. When you come to the rink the next day, you turn it ‘on.'”

“Stevie is the biggest”

Detroit has displayed a better game than in a long time this season, and Henrik Zetterberg thinks that the team has something good going on again.

“Yes, I think so. Today there is a great willingness to sacrifice for the team and there’s a drive in it. Even if they’re behind in goals, they have the belief that they can turn it around.”

“If you look at recent years, that may have been a little lacking. At the same time, Detroit has a better team this season, so be it. Raymond is a part of it. There are many components that are involved, but it’s precisely that they have great drive in the team that stands out. I think it’s incredibly fun to watch.”

What significance do you think Steve Yzerman’s return to the organization has meant, and does it mean to now start to see success again?

“I think it means a lot. Stevie is the greatest and the one everyone associates with Detroit after being the captain there for so long” (from 1986-2006).

“When he was in Tampa he did incredibly well there. That Tampa won the Stanley Cup after he left…It was his building that laid the foundation for that.”

“The work ethic in Detroit is completely different. It’s easier for him than anyone else to say, ‘This will take time,'” laughs Henrik Zetterberg, and he continues:

“They listen to him in a completely different way. Then he does things that other teams might not do. I think, for example, there were many who raised their eyebrows when they took Seider (in the first round in 2019). Now they probably understand that Seider was a pretty good prospect. I also think he was pretty sure of Lucas. Lottery is lottery, but I think we would still have taken Lucas no matter when we had our first choice (in 2020). Stevie has a feel for his draft picks.”

“Then there is the very long distance left, it’s different. They’ve played fantastically well so far this year, and have taken an incredibly big step forward, but to be where you want to be requires an incredibly hard job, and we aren’t there yet.”

How involves are you with the Detroit Red Wings today?

“I’m a supporter, that’s probably what I am,” says ‘Zata’ with a light laugh, and he continues:

“I get some insights thanks to the fact that I know most of the people who work around the team. When they come to Sweden, we usually hang out. For example when they’re going to check out Rogle” (Henrik Zetterberg lives outside Angelholm).

“In addition, Niklas Kronwall and I are very close friends. He’s done an immensely good job with the development of all draft picks. If we look at Lucas and Seider’s development, Niklas has a part in it. He spends an incredible amount of time on all of our draft picks, watches games, and is there, talks to them after practices, and so on.”

“He will probably never say that he has such a big part in it, but I think he does a fantastic job,” Henrik Zetterberg concludes.

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

One thought on “Roughly translated: Henrik Zetterberg discusses Lucas Raymond, Steve Yzerman and Niklas Kronwall with”

  1. Excellent find George. A strong shout out to Kronwall who is helping in so many ways to improve the future Wings. He told Wallender to just move on and improve after he wasn’t selected to Sweden’s WJ team.

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