| Detroit Free Press
Steve Yzerman on why Lucas Raymond fits Detroit Red Wings rebuild
Steve Yzerman talks about Detroit Red Wings draft pick Lucas Raymond on Oct. 6, 2020.
The Detroit Red Wings should be fun to watch next fall, at least from the standpoint of enjoying what appears to be a strong youth movement.
While the NHL is trying to figure out how to play as the pandemic rages across North America, select Wings prospects are enjoying success in Europe. Forward Lucas Raymond, the No. 4 overall pick in this year’s draft, is on a four-game point streak with his Swedish Hockey League club, Frölunda.
Raymond found Joel Lundqvist in the slot for the first goal in Thursday’s 4-3 victory over Färjestad and earned a second assist on the second goal. That gave the 18-year-old five goals and five assists in in 15 games, equaling the points he tallied in 33 games last season with Frölunda.
Elsewhere in the SHL, defenseman Moritz Seider (drafted No. 6 overall in 2019) had a five-game point streak come to an end, but the 19-year-old had 20:13 of ice time and registered a shot on goal as Rögle beat Brynäs, 4-1.
Forward Jonathan Berggren (No. 33 overall in 2018) assisted on the first goal in Skellefteå’s 4-2 victory over Växjö. Berggren, 20, has three goals and 15 assists in 15 games. Joe Veleno (No. 30 overall, 2018) has one goal and two assists in nine games for last-place Malmö.
Forward Filip Zadina (No. 6 overall, 2018), who is playing for HC Ocelari Trinec in the Czech Extraliga, has crammed four goals and one assist into his first three games.
Zadina and defenseman Filip Hronek, who is also playing in the Czech Extraliga, are expected to return to Detroit when the NHL indicates training camps can begin; the current target date for the 2021 season is Jan. 1, though that grows more unlikely by the day. Meanwhile, the players in the SHL are there for the season. There’s a scant chance one or more could return after the SHL is done, but as it looks now, both Seider’s and Raymond’s teams are headed for the playoffs; Frölunda and Rögle are first and second, respectively, in the standings.
Seider almost certainly would have made the Wings this season had COVID-19 not delayed the NHL, and Raymond probably would have at least been part of training camp. They’re in better spots in Sweden, and their good seasons bode well for being able to help the Wings in 2021-22.
Contact Helene St. James at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.