In case you check out the tweets mentioning Lucas Raymond throughout November and December, you may discover lots of people freaking out about his “sophomore hunch.” And to be trustworthy, you’ll be able to perceive why. He hasn’t scored in his first seven matches this season and has solely assisted two. After lastly recovering and scoring six targets in his subsequent seven matches, he then solely had one objective over his subsequent 15 matches. He did not look fairly like the identical participant Crimson Wings followers liked to see a season in the past.
Effectively, that hunch is over and he is enjoying as effectively if not higher than he did at any time final season. On the midpoint of the 12 months, he had 13 targets and 17 assists. He is on monitor to attain three extra targets than final season’s remaining whole of 23. He is additionally on monitor for 60 factors which might surpass his rookie 12 months whole. Taking pictures proportion has elevated from 12.5% final season to 18.6%. He shoots lower than final 12 months, however he takes his possibilities a lot better.
The blade is getting sharper
His final play is the explanation for this enhance to his stats. Because of his objective in opposition to the Blue Jackets on Saturday evening, he now has 14 factors (six targets, eight assists) in his final 12 video games. He had solely 16 factors in his earlier 29 video games. This stretch performed an enormous function within the crew’s restoration from their six-game dropping streak in mid-December. The most important instance of this was back-to-back video games in opposition to Winnipeg and Toronto. He had a objective and two assists per recreation en path to a 7-5, 4-1 win.
So what has modified? Initially, the share shot by the roof. Via his first 29 video games, his capturing proportion was 13.0% which, to be truthful, was larger than his rookie season whole. Nonetheless, his capturing proportion in his final 12 matches is 37.5% as he has scored six targets on simply 16 pictures. And that final quantity is what’s a bit startling. Solely 16 pictures in 12 video games. Nonetheless, he did kick six targets on this run. He would not get a variety of alternatives to shoot the puck, however when he does, they’re main alternatives that he takes benefit of.
He will get these alternatives by placing himself in a superb scoring place. His capacity to fill lanes in a rush or get into scoring zones when within the zone is taken into account top-of-the-line on the crew. Actually, every of those examples was evident within the final two targets he scored.
His success within the energy play additionally elevated, particularly with the puck. He has 5 energy play assists in simply the final 12 video games, and his 14 energy play factors for the season are simply 4 factors wanting final 12 months’s level whole. His 5v5 numbers are nonetheless not fairly there but, however he is getting higher. His 5 targets at equal energy within the final 12 matches is greater than throughout his first 29 matches, and his eight strengths match his objective whole since that point.
So what’s subsequent?
The most important query going ahead this season is, can he keep consistency? He is been sweaty this season, but it surely positive appears like what he is doing now could be now not a streak. It is his most constant play for the reason that first two months of his profession when he had 22 factors in 23 video games. Actually, I would say he is enjoying higher now than he was then. The query could be, can he attain that size of consistency? And if he does, can he proceed? He has the potential to be the 90+ level scorer on this league, however that consistency can be key.
It would even be attention-grabbing what he finally ends up getting round by way of attackers. He is performed most of his profession with Dylan Larkin, who’s on a contract 12 months. Whereas most individuals are certainly not envisioning the Crimson Wings captain leaving Detroit this season, it’s one thing that can be on folks’s minds. The larger query is who will be part of them on their facet? We have seen quite a lot of gamers over the previous two seasons from Bertuzzi to Peron to Kubalek to Bergen.
The youthful guys just like the aforementioned Peregrine are the attention-grabbing ones to me. We’ve seen that Peregrine has been wonderful this 12 months. Would a playmaker like him enable Raymond to be the highest scorer? Or have a look at somebody like Elmer Soderblom who performed rather well in Detroit this 12 months. Might his measurement and skill to create area open up extra areas for Raymond?
And even look exterior of the Detroit system now to somebody like Carter Mazur, who ranks second in all NCAA with 17 targets in 24 video games. Or have a look at Marco Casper, who can play each wing and left positions and at the moment has precisely the identical bottom line that Raymond had in his final season in Frolunda (I am not kidding btw. Casper has the identical recreation, objective and assists totals as Raymond completed his final season within the SHL on the time of writing). They each have futures in Detroit, and dealing with Raymond may benefit each gamers in addition to the Razors.
The purpose is, a variety of what a participant’s profession is dictated by isn’t just their ability set. It is who they play with, too. It is advisable construct chemistry, however you additionally want expert gamers who complement one another. So once you have a look at Raymond’s future, you do not simply have a look at how he is getting higher, which by the way in which. You have a look at who he is being paired with, and whereas his wing accomplice hasn’t been discovered but, there are many choices Detroit has already lined up that would probably fill the function.
So, with all that mentioned, please cease worrying about Lucas Raymond if you have not but. I used to be by no means nervous about him and I do know there are a lot of of you want me who watched his struggles and knew he would discover his means out of it. However there’s been a variety of negativity a few 20-year-old in his second season within the NHL who simply wants slightly time and slightly assist. Let Coach Lalonde do his factor, let Stevie Manner do his factor, and, effectively, let Razor do his factor. I promise you, you’ll really feel so a lot better due to it.