Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond managed to battle his way into a roster spot with Detroit in no small part due to Jakub Vrana’s shoulder injury which required surgery during training camp, but since then, he’s been absolutely dominant, as Detroit Hockey Now’s Bob Duff notes:
Detroit Red Wings rookie left-winger Lucas Raymond keeps on putting his name up there in exclusive company among NHL first-year players.
The teenage sensation is doing so again. With 28 points through his first 31 NHL games, Raymond, 19, has accumulated the fourth-most points by a first-year teen-aged winger in NHL history.
Only Hartford Whalers left-winger Sylvain Turgeon (29 points in 1983-84), Chicago Blackhawks right-winger Patrick Kane (31 points in 2007-08), and Toronto Maple Leafs left-winger Gaye Stewart (37 points in 1942-43) were producing at a pace better than Raymond through their first 31 NHL games.
The Red Wings brass was quite confident that defenseman Moritz Seider, the club’s 2019 top draft pick, would be able to step right into a significant role as an NHL rookie this season. They readily admit that they didn’t forsee that also happening with 2020 top draftee Raymond.
“Moritz was playing 20 minutes a night in Rogle last season, so our thought was that he would be ready to play in the NHL at the start of the season,” Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman explained. “With Lucas, (it was) a little bit different because he didn’t play a big role in Frolunda, and he got injured and missed a lot of time at the end of the season.
“Going into the year, we weren’t really sure what to expect from Lucas. We didn’t want to rule him out from playing but truthfully, we kinda thought he was probably going to take some time in the American Hockey League, just based on what we saw last year.”