Detroit Red Wings: What Would a Raymond Contract Extension Look Like?

Mar 19, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Lucas Raymond celebrates the Red Wings win over the Columbus
Mar 19, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Lucas Raymond celebrates the Red Wings win over the Columbus / Brian Bradshaw Sevald-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Red Wings young star Lucas Raymond had a coming out party this season and demonstrated why he is a big part of the Red Wings future. He played a pivotal role in the late season dramatics as the Red Wings searched for a playoff spot and fell just short in the final game. With that said, he is in need of a contract extension that could see him cash in big.

Red Wings' Raymond deserving of a hefty raise

Raymond was drafted by Detroit in the first round, fourth overall, in the 2020 NHL Draft, coming into the league as a known sniper in Sweden. He opened some eyes in his first season, scoring 57 points in 82 games. Knowing he was in a situation where the team needed offense, he rose to the occasion and did a tremendous job in his debut season. Season two was a bit of a disappointment because of year one's point production but he still managed to average a point every other game. He continued to push hard and help the team in any way possible.

Raymond signed a three-year deal worth $10.275 million on April 16, 2021 and has since produced on a fairly consistent basis. He is now a restricted free agent and is expected to see a big contract offer. Is General Manager Steve Yzerman willing to go the distance and bring him back on a massive deal? Or is Yzerman looking to land him on a bridge deal? He is not known for giving out big, long-term deals. However, Raymond is a special player that proved he can lead this team late in the season at a critical time and those players one has to lock up for the future.

Raymond does have some things going for him and in his favor. He is 22 years old and has not reached the prime of his career. His durability is top-notch as he has played 238 of 246 games in his career. He is also a key part of a team on the rise who can produce at either forward position. He had a career-high 72 points this season on 31 goals and 41 assists, not to mention during the final playoff push, he carried this team on his back and scored many goals that either tied the game or gave the Red Wings the lead.

His last contract is comparable to Los Angeles Kings forward Qauinton Byfield, New York rangers teammates Alexis Lafreniere and Kappo Kakko, and New Jersey Devils young star Alexander Holtz. Raymond has played more games than Holtz, has scored more goals than Byfield, Kakko, and Holtz, not to mention has outscored every player above in total points and assists. If this draft were redone, Raymond would go either first or second.

Detroit has a cap space for the 2024-25 NHL season of $26.5 million so they do have the cash to pay him. However, they do have other players in need of being signed and they may still want to grab a free agent or two to upgrade the roster.

Raymond has earned a new contract with a nice raise. With his $3.4 million average annual value, expect his new contract to be in the neighborhood of a five-year deal with an AAV of around $7 for a total of a $35 million deal, or something of that nature. Detroit and Yzerman know they have something special with Raymond and he is a key piece going forward.