NHL Prospect Profile: Lucas Raymond

– Lucas Raymond –

Frölunda HC (SHL) | Right Wing | 2020 NHL Draft Eligible

Göteborg, Sweden | 5-foot-11, 170lbs | Mar. 28th, 2002

The 2020 NHL Entry Draft is loaded with players of elite talent, however, arguably none are more capable than Lucas Raymond — a Swedish winger defined by his elusive nature and unparalleled offensive abilities. Regardless of the situation or score, Raymond is as dangerous as they come — routinely dangling his way through opposing defenders before dishing the puck to a teammate or concluding the play himself.

Related: 2020 NHL Draft Player Profiles

Raymond is so lethal, in fact, that he is skating for Frölunda HC at the SHL-level in 2019-20 as a 17-year-old. Slated to turn 18 years-of-age in March of 2020, Raymond was one of just three players under the age of 18 to begin the current campaign at the SHL-level — joining fellow Swedish prospects Alexander Holtz and Lucas Ramberg in doing so. With this being said, it should come as no surprise to learn that Raymond has been routinely discussed as a top-five prospect eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft, he is simply that good.

Strengths:

  • Offensive Creativity
  • On-Ice Vision and Playmaking Abilities
  • Skating Speed and Agility
  • Shot Release

When it comes to Raymond’s strengths, there are plenty. Above all else, however, is Raymond’s raw creativity when in possession of the puck. Completely unpredictable and willing to take risks in order to generate scoring opportunities, Raymond can execute high-risk passes with relative ease and is more than willing to experiment new plays on the fly and regardless of the on-ice situation. Yet, with this being said, every risk which Raymond takes is calculated.

This innate creativity leads directly to a wealth of offensive opportunities for Raymond and his team, as the native of Göteborg, Sweden is a pass-first player who consistently improves the play of those around him. Of stellar vision, Raymond has no trouble identifying players in his peripherals and can hit teammates with passes they — let alone Raymond’s opponents — weren’t expecting.

 

However, Raymond is far more than an elite playmaker, as the youngster has the ability to score goals too. This offensive versatility is driven by Raymond’s skating, as he features great foot speed and the agility required to change directions in a split second while retaining a high rate of speed. When combined with his elite puck-handling abilities, Raymond stands as a truly unpredictable offensive force capable of generating offence by any means necessary.

Weaknesses:

  • General Strength and Skating Stability
  • Shot Velocity

There’s a reason why Raymond is perceived as a top-five talent eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft — there aren’t any significant areas of weakness present within his game. In the years ahead, however, Raymond would do well to continue adding greater strength to his 5-foot-11 frame.

Related: 2020 NHL Draft Rankings

While his strength will surely increase with age, more muscle will aid Raymond’s ability to protect the puck as well as the velocity of his shot. While accurate and defined by its quick release, greater power will allow Raymond’s shot to consistently bulge the twine once he reaches the NHL-level.

Future Potential:

Once in the midst of his NHL career, Raymond will undoubtedly stand as a first-line winger capable of sustaining his team’s offensive attack on a nightly basis. Incredibly shifty and remarkably diverse, Raymond will come to pick apart opposing defenders at the NHL-level while rounding into a strong two-way player in the process. Come the 2020 NHL Draft, expect Raymond to be chosen within the first five picks — he could be nabbed as high as second overall in our opinion.

All in all, a devastating and consistent offensive force who will command attention at the NHL-level for years to come.

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