Swedish Detroit Red Wings feast on Hungary at World Championship

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Red Wings’ Swedish contingent contributed four points in their country’s latest outing at the World Championship.

Lucas Raymond had a goal and two assists, with one of the latter setting up Jonatan Berggren’s goal Thursday at Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland. The Swedes feasted on Hungary to the tune of a 7-1 final as the preliminary round nears its finale.

The victory put Sweden at 11 points, second behind the U.S. in Group A standings. The top four teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals, which begin next week. The Swedes play France on Saturday and Denmark on Monday, and finish the first round with a match against the Americans on Tuesday.

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SKILLED SHOOTER: Lucas Raymond helps Sweden shoot down Finland at World Championship

Hungary doesn’t have the hockey cache that Sweden does, but a dominant performance is good to see from Raymond, who went through some growing pains in his second NHL season. After recording 57 points in his rookie season, Raymond topped out at 45 in 2022-23, with his points-per-game average dropping from 0.70 to 0.61. A week into his first World Championship, the 21-year-old has a goal and three assists in four games. That does not include the two shootout goals he scored earlier this week, which don’t count as a personal statistic.

In Thursday’s match, Berggren scored on a short-side shot off the rush to pick up his fourth point in four games, building on the strong rookie outing he had with the Wings. The 22-year-old was called up in November after starting the season in the minors, and played so well he became a regular.

Sweden’s roster also includes Leo Carlsson, the 18-year-old projected to be among the top picks in next month’s draft. The Wings hold their first pick at No. 9, and while he likely will be gone by then, general manager Steve Yzerman does have the draft capital to potentially move up and pick earlier.

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The Swedes are backstopped by Jesper Wallstedt, who the Wings passed on in the 2021 draft after using draft capital to move up to select goaltender Sebastian Cossa at No. 15. (Wallstedt went at No. 20, to the Minnesota Wild.)

Raymond wasn’t the only Wings player with a productive day Wednesday: In the early game in Group B, Dominik Kubalik had a hat trick and an assist to help the Czechs to a 6-2 victory over Slovenia. In the late Group A game, Moritz Seider’s Germany finally recorded a victory, winning a wild 6-4 decision against Denmark.

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from  Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

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