You Can Stop Worrying About Lucas Raymond

If you check out tweets mentioning Lucas Raymond through the months of November and December, you’ll discover lots of people freaking out over his “sophomore stoop”. And to be sincere, you’ll be able to perceive why. He didn’t rating a aim in his first seven video games of the season and had solely two assists. After lastly recovering and scoring six targets in his subsequent seven video games, he then had only one aim over his subsequent 15 video games. He did not fairly seem like the identical participant Red Wings followers liked watching a season in the past.

Well, that stoop has come to an finish and he is enjoying simply as effectively if not higher than he did at any time final season. At the midway mark of the yr, he has 13 targets and 17 assists. He’s on tempo to have three extra targets than final season’s last complete of 23. He’s additionally on tempo for 60 factors which might surpass his rookie yr complete. His taking pictures proportion is up from 12.5% ​​final season to 18.6%. He’s taking pictures lower than final yr, however he is benefiting from his alternatives rather a lot higher.

Razor Getting Sharper

His current play is the rationale for this enhance to his stats. With his aim towards the Blue Jackets on Saturday evening, he now has 14 factors (six targets, eight assists) in his final 12 video games. He had simply 16 factors in his earlier 29 video games. This stretch has performed an enormous half within the workforce recovering from their six-game shedding streak in mid-December. The largest instance of this was back-to-back video games towards Winnipeg and Toronto. He had a aim and two assists in every recreation en path to 7-5 and 4-1 wins.

So what has modified? First of all, his taking pictures proportion is thru the roof. Through his first 29 video games, his taking pictures proportion was 13.0% which, to be truthful, was above his rookie season’s complete. However, his taking pictures proportion within the final 12 video games is a whopping 37.5% with six targets scored on solely 16 pictures. And that final quantity is what’s a bit staggering. Only 16 pictures in 12 video games. And but, he has scored six targets in that stretch. He’s not getting a number of alternatives to shoot the puck, however when he does, they’re prime alternatives that he takes benefit of.

He will get these probabilities by placing himself in a main scoring place. His skill to fill lanes on the frenzy or get within the scoring areas when arrange within the zone is without doubt one of the finest on the workforce. In reality, every of these examples was evident within the final two targets he scored.

His success on the facility play has elevated as effectively, particularly with transferring the puck. He has 5 assists on the facility play within the final 12 video games alone and his 14 power-play factors for the season at the moment are simply 4 away from his complete from final yr. His numbers at 5v5 nonetheless aren’t there but, however he’s getting higher. His 5 even-strength targets within the final 12 video games is greater than he had through the first 29 video games and his eight even-strength factors matches his complete from that point.

So, What’s Next?

The largest query going ahead this season is, can he sustain the consistency? He has been streaky this season, nevertheless it definitely seems to be like what he is on now’s now not a streak. It’s his most constant play for the reason that first two months of his profession when he had 22 factors in 23 video games. In reality, I’d say he is enjoying higher now than he was then. The query will likely be, can he attain that size of consistency? And if he does, can he maintain going? He has the potential to be a 90+ level scorer on this league, however that consistency will likely be key.

It’ll even be fascinating what finally ends up forming round him by way of his forwards. He has performed the vast majority of his profession with Dylan Larkin, who’s in a contract yr. While most individuals do not see any method that the Red Wings captain will depart Detroit this offseason, it’s one thing that’ll be on folks’s minds. The greater query is who finally ends up becoming a member of them on their line? We’ve seen quite a lot of gamers during the last two seasons from Bertuzzi to Perron to Kubalik to Berggren.

The youthful guys just like the aforementioned Berggren are the fascinating ones for me. We’ve seen Berggren be wonderful this yr. Does a playmaker like him permit for Raymond to be a greater goal-scorer? Or have a look at somebody like Elmer Soderblom who has performed effectively when in Detroit this yr. Can his dimension and talent to create area open up extra areas for Raymond?

Or even look outdoors of the Detroit system proper now at somebody like Carter Mazur, who’s second in all of NCAA with 17 targets in 24 video games. Or have a look at Marco Kasper, who can play each middle and left-wing and presently has the very same stat line that Raymond had in his final season in Frolunda (I’m not joking by the way in which. Kasper has the very same recreation, aim and assists totals as Raymond completed his final season within the SHL with on the time of penning this). Both of these gamers have futures in Detroit, and dealing with Raymond may gain advantage each of these gamers in addition to Razor.

The level is, a number of what a participant’s profession is dictated by is not only their skillset. It’s who they’re enjoying with too. You have to construct chemistry, however you additionally want expert gamers that complement one another. So whenever you have a look at Raymond’s future, you do not simply have a look at how he is bettering, which he’s by the way in which. You have a look at who’s being paired with him, and whereas his wing companion has not been discovered but, there are a number of choices already drafted by Detroit who can probably fill that function.

So, with all that mentioned, please cease worrying about Lucas Raymond if you have not but. I used to be by no means frightened about him and I do know a number of you might be like me who noticed his struggles and knew he’d discover his method out of it. But there was method an excessive amount of negativity round a 20-year-old in his second NHL season who simply wants a little bit of time and a bit of little bit of assist. Let Coach Lalonde do his factor, let Stevie Y do his factor and, effectively, let Razor do his factor. I promise you, you will really feel rather a lot higher due to it.

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