Breaking down what Lucas Raymond’s contract extension may look like

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Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman signed captain Dylan Larkin to a long-term contract extension last season. The next couple of dominoes need to fall into place sooner than later. Both Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider will become restricted free agents next summer.

The next order of business for Yzerman will be extending two of Detroit’s young bright stars. Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider are entering the final year of their entry-level contract, which means there is not the same type of pressure on Yzerman to get an extension done as there had been with Larkin. Still, it must be addressed and something he will likely expect to have done before free agency begins in the summer of 2024.

Lucas Raymond, 21, is coming off a 74-game season, where he scored 17 goals and added 28 assists for 45 total points. The Detroit Red Wings will be looking for more production from the talented Swedish-born winger moving forward. That offensive production followed a 23-goal, 57-point rookie season. Lucas Raymond maintained a Corsi For Percentage of 47.9 this past season during even-strength situations, a percentage point lower than his rookie season. Last year, Raymond also possessed a Relative Corsi For Percentage of 1.4%, down from a solid 3.7% as a rookie.

Breaking down what Lucas Raymond’s eventual contract extension may look like.

When it comes to Lucas Raymond, projecting his next contract is a bit complicated. In his first two seasons, Raymond has averaged 0.65 points per game over 156 games. Troy Terry recently signed a seven-year contract extension worth $49 million, good for an Average Annual Value of $7 million per season. Terry, 25, has averaged 0.64 points per game over his first 274 games. But, over the past two seasons, Terry has averaged 0.89 and 0.87 points per game, respectfully. And this past season, Terry maintained a solid 7.9 Relative Corsi For Percentage during even-strength play. With the Anaheim Ducks selecting Leo Carlsson second overall in the 2023 NHL Entry Level Draft, a player like Terry may benefit a ton moving forward. Carlsson, paired with Trevor Zegras, Ryan Strome, and Mason McTavish, makes for a deep, productive roster down the middle for years to come.

Cole Caulfield is another player to compare with Raymond when considering what a contract extension may look like. Caulfield, 22, recently signed an eight-year extension with Monreal that averages $7.85 million per season. He’s averaged 0.68 points through 123 career games.

Yzerman recently signed star forward Alex DeBrincat to a four-year deal that averages $7.875 million per season. Following the extension, Yzerman spoke in detail about contracts and how he prefers shorter-term deals rather than the maximum eight-year deals a team can sign their players to or the seven-year terms with a player in free agency on the open market.

“You’re starting to see more players, at least this offseason, and I think it might be a trend, signing shorter-term contracts, not necessarily going the full 7-8 years,” Yzerman said after acquiring Alex DeBrincat.

“I’m not sure I have a hard set philosophy on contracts. There’s risk in every deal. There’s short-term risk you lose control of the player. On the back end, the long-term risk is a lot of things can happen that affect a player’s ability to perform on a long-term deal. What is my philosophy? I try to make a deal with the player, try to understand what they’re looking for and what’s important to them, but ultimately, I’m comfortable. I like these mid-term deals.”

Considering this, I believe Yzerman will prefer one of those mid-term deals with Lucas Raymond. A lot will depend on how Raymond performs this season. If a deal happened to be completed before the start of the regular season, I would expect to see something in the neighborhood of $6.5 million per season over a three or four-year deal. If Raymond can record 0.70 points per game this season, that number will likely reach $7 million annually.

In contrast to my ‘bridge-deal’ prediction regarding Raymond, I expect Yzerman to willingly extend Seider to the maximum term of an eight-year extension, which likely averages around $8.5-8.7 million per season.

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