Red Wings: Lucas Raymond has been standing tall in a pivotal role

Lucas Raymond has been standing tall in a pivotal role for the Red Wings.
Nashville Predators v Detroit Red Wings
Nashville Predators v Detroit Red Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

Lucas Raymond of the Detroit Red Wings was drafted fourth overall in the 2020 NHL Draft and huge expectations came with him. Not only has he exceeded them, he is out to prove that he is the cornerstone of the franchise. He might not be wrong.

Raymond, the 5-foot-11 and 198-pound left-winger, impressed enough in his first season that he was named to the 2021-2022 NHL All-Rookie first team.

During his rookie year, he scored 23 goals and added 34 assists for 57 points in 82 games. This season, he looks to surpass those numbers as he has 15 goals and 29 assists for 44 points in 54 games. His 44 points are third in team scoring.

Since his freshman year in the league, he has been consistent in point production and with his style of play. In this off-season, he added muscle to bulk up.

He can win board battles and dominate the physical play. Raymond has developed into one of Detroit's best players and has been one of the go-to guys in high-pressure situations.

The Detroit Red Wings rely on Lucas Raymond to bring a lot to the table

Raymond has been on fire as of late, posting 20 points in his last 20 games and three points (two goals and one assist) in his last five. This is one of the better streaks in the league right now and one reason he has been in the top six since his NHL debut.

How dominant has he been? He is second in scoring among the players drafted in the 2020 NHL draft class.

His 56 goals and 92 assists for 148 points are second behind Tim Stutzle of the Ottawa Senators who has 238 points. Raymond finished third on the team in scoring during his rookie year, fourth in his second year, and is currently third this season.

He has been one of the more lethal weapons as he gets more comfortable in his surroundings with the player movement with the roster.

He can be as dangerous on the second line as he is on the first and gives them another weapon on the power play.

He has grown into a dependable forward who can also defend and stick up for his teammates when needed. He is still young at 21 years old but he is making plays and producing like a veteran. With defenseman Moritz Seider, the future is bright with these two in the fold.

While he has brought amazing tempo and scoring, Raymond has one year left on his entry-level deal then he becomes a restricted free agent.

General Manager Steve Yzerman is not one to give out long-term deals and could be looking to lock him up short-term rather than long-term. The future success of the team depends on the success of Raymond and how he adjusts to the game the longer he plays.