Red Wings: Lucas Raymond Could Make Roster Decisions Tougher

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The Detroit Red Wings best player in the prospect tournament was 2020 fourth overall pick Lucas Raymond who potted three goals in two games and certainly turned some heads with his play. Though it promises to be a crowded field for the final few spots on the Red Wings roster, if there’s anyone who might make things more interesting is Raymond.

Raymond Was Impressive in Both Games

Whether on the power play, backchecking, or putting shots on net, Raymond commanded a presence while on the ice and certainly looked like he was ready to make an appearance on the Detroit roster sooner rather than later. It called to mind the presence that Dylan Larkin had when he broke camp with the Red Wings back in 2015. Though both teams were in completely different spots, it didn’t distract from the obvious–Larkin deserved to be on the team based on his play. He would go on to score 21 goals in his rookie season and participate in the fastest skater contest at the All-Star Game, an event he ended up winning.

Now comes Raymond, who although it was a prospect tournament, certainly looked the part of professional:

Now comes the interesting part. After being a precautionary scratch following a rough and tumble contest with St. Louis’ prospects that saw Jonatan Berggren exit with an injury, the question now becomes how Raymond will perform among other professionals. Whether either will be ready for camp is one thing. If Raymond is healthy and competes, making that roster is a whole other argument.

Mind you, he’s already played in the SHL and held his own just fine before a shoulder injury ended his season. General manager Steve Yzerman already indicated that the Red Wings would consider the best player for the job. Raymond may very well be in that conversation.

Red Wings Camp Begins Wednesday

Wednesday opens training camp, a chance to see how the team will appear that Yzerman spent the offseason retooling through trades and free agency. With the buyout of Frans Nielsen opening up another roster spot, Detroit has no limitations to fill those final spots. Mitchell Stephens, Chase Pearson, Joe Veleno, and Raymond are just a number of players vying for those final positions. Pearson himself looked good in the prospects tournament, while Veleno held his own but didn’t appear as dominant as maybe some would have liked to see.

There won’t be any limit of storylines as the Red Wings open things up Wednesday, and eyes will be close on how Jeff Blashill responds with some more talent injected into the lineup. Add in the younger players competing for spots and how new coach Alex Tanguay will add some wrinkles to last season’s struggling power play, they’ll be an awful lot to pay attention to in the coming weeks.

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