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Lucas Raymond Is Easily The Favorite For The 2022 Calder

Lucas Raymond

Lucas Raymond
Photo Credit: Minas Panagiotakis / Getty Images

Lucas Raymond Is An Absolute Stud

Lucas Raymond has had an incredible start to life in the NHL. With 9 goals and 12 assists in 23 games, the 19-year-old already looks like the best draft pick in the Yzerman era. That is unless you consider Moritz Seider, the German defenseman taken a year earlier, is better. Regardless, the Swedish winger has is nearly a point-per-game player despite not being able to legally drink until March of 2023! He has a comfortable grasp in the scoring leaderboard for rookies, with a 7-point gap over his counterparts.

At 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, he can still grow into a dominant scoring threat for years to come. The duo of Raymond and Seider has finally begun causes for optimism in Detroit after many lean years. Both of them have proven to be offensive dynamos at their position, with Raymond, in particular, is known for exceptional hockey IQ and decision-making at such a young age. Those in his homeland call him a “human highlight reel” and rightfully so. He scored a hat trick against the Chicago Blackhawks in only his sixth career NHL game, while also defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets with a wicked snapshot. Questions surrounding Raymond are now more along the lines of “what can’t he do?”

Still Some Room For Improvement

One reservation that can be had about Raymond comes in the form of his physicality. He will not dominate games on the scoresheet and the boards like Alex Ovechkin or Patrik Laine. His smaller size certainly does not lend well to playing a more physical style of hockey. Hitting the weight room in subsequent offseasons will more than likely do wonders for Raymond. Improving his strength should be a priority as it’s also worth considering that scouts were concerned about his skating ahead of the 2020 Draft. A quarter through the season, however, he has strongly proven why the Red Wings wanted to select him 4th overall. At 19, it feels like the hockey world is his oyster, and he is arguably the biggest reason why the Wings are even worth paying attention to.

Can’t Get Off To A Better Start

Both Raymond and Seider are looking like absolute home runs for Detroit. Trading away Anthony Mantha to the Washington Capitals last season was a big blow to this Detroit team. For the better part of a decade, the Red Wings have been trying and failing to re-establish a core similar to that of the 2007 Cup Winners. A great scorer like Raymond and a high-level two-way defenseman like Seider has helped Yzerman and Co. finally get this rebuild going. A core is forming and captain Dylan Larkin is finally getting some support. When Jakub Vrana finally gets healthy and into the lineup, it could be scary hours. We should quickly find out why the Red Wings are one of best long-term investments in all of hockey. They could even make some noise sooner rather than later. Don’t look now, as the Original 6 stalwart currently sits in a playoff spot at 4th in the Atlantic Division.

Lucas Raymond is a stud, case closed. The things he can do with a puck at 19 are unholy. He has an eye for a pass, a great shot, and has silky mitts. Players like him do not grow on trees. As long as he remains healthy, I would say he is dangerously close to locking up the 2022 Calder Trophy.

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