Detroit Red Wings: Evaluating Lucas Raymond’s first-half

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The Detroit Red Wings are at the 2022-23 All-Star Break, and it’s a good time to take some stock in which players are excelling versus struggling. Forward Lucas Raymond is in his second season with the team and starting to settle into the caliber of the National Hockey League.

There’s a case that can be made that Raymond settled in last season, but the second year is always a good test to see how things are going. I’d also argue that there’s been less attention on the Detroit Red Wings forward in 2022-23 compared to last year.

It felt that he was in the spotlight a lot more and getting a lot more play in terms of media and highlights. But in reality, his offense is on pace to outperform his rookie campaign, which almost earned him a spot alongside Moritz Seider in the running for the Calder Trophy that Seider took home last season.

There was much to be said about Raymond and Seider in 2021-22, but this year has been a bit different. Raymond has not hit the sophomore slump that some players do; he’s just been putting in work and reaping the benefits quietly.

Detroit Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond quieter in ’22-23, or is he?

Raymond has played in 48 games with the Red Wings, with 15 goals and 17 assists for 32 total points. He heads into the break on pace to beat his point total from 2021-22 by three points.

According to the Elite Prospects projection model, Raymond will finish the 2022-23 season with 26 goals and 29 assists for 55 total points over 82 games. These are simply statistical projections and do not account for a big game where he records four points or an injury that can wipe out a couple of games, but its’ worth noting he’s on pace to beat his 2021-22 point totals.

The Red Wings must be enjoying how well Raymond has settled into the National Hockey League. His offensive skill set has shown, but it’s his defensive abilities that need to get better. He’s on pace to finish well within the negatives in terms of plus/minus.

His offensive zone start percentages were up in 2021-22 over the defensive zone, which could indicate his career path with the Red Wings. Raymond is an asset in the offensive zone with desirable traits as a playmaker.

However, the defense has lacked. He’s used in the offensive zone far more than the defensive zone. Granted, he’s not the most physical player out there, but he still has a bright future as a scoring threat and power-play addition.

Raymond could be due for a solid finish to the season, even if the offense is not pouring in by the boatload.

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