The Hockey Writers 2020 NHL Entry Draft Guide

2019-20 Team: Frolunda HC (#44)
Date of Birth: March 28, 2002
Place of Birth: Goteborg, Sweden
Ht: 5-foot-11 Wt: 170-pounds
Shoots: Right
Position: Right Wing/Left Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible

Rankings

Lucas Raymond is a boy among men in Sweden, but you wouldn’t know it with the way he plays hockey in the SHL.

A tremendously smart player who consistently makes all the right decisions on both ends of the ice, Raymond has done everything but produce offensively to create a name for himself among scouts. While he may not have an attractive stat-line to look at, just four goals and 10 points in 33 games this season with Frolunda, Raymond is regularly noticeable during each shift despite playing the entire season at 17 years old.

A good skater with elite straight-line speed, Raymond has the ability to blow past his opposition and use his creativity to develop the play for his teammates. He’s also capable of using solid lateral edge-work to skate around opponents in the neutral zone and blast into the offensive zone with a head of steam.

Lucas Raymond Frolunda Indians
Lucas Raymond of the Frolunda Indians (Photo: Tommy Holl TT)

His skating is more a testament to his creativity than his actual skating ability itself, however, and it’ll be interesting to see how he eventually adjusts to the smaller rink in North America.

The biggest positive that’s visible when watching Raymond is how creative he is as a playmaker and how effortless his decision-making seems to be with each shift. He has a legitimate claim for the title of “best playmaker” in the entire draft class.

Don’t be fooled by the hype surrounding Raymond’s playmaking ability, however, as he’s also an effective finisher and could produce at an elite level in the NHL if he can build on his already-impressive wrist shot.

Related: 2020 NHL Draft Guide

More than just an offensive threat, Raymond is the full package and is capable of playing an effective 200-foot game. This comes with the territory for such a smart player but while so many high-IQ prospects excel in the offensive zone, Raymond has put in the time and effort to excel on both ends of the ice from the wing.

His ability to play bigger than his size suggests is also a plus as he can play both a physical-style of play and a finesse-style of play depending on the situation. His upper-body strength is a surprising feature given his frame and he still has room to improve even further in this area with time and training.

Other THW Draft Profiles

Lucas Raymond – NHL Draft Projection

It’s hard to find any scout ranking Raymond anywhere outside of the top-five with most putting him as high as two on their boards and as low as four. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him taken anywhere from pick two to five in this year’s Entry Draft.

Quotables

“He plays a strong two-way game, offering excellent vision, intensity and good wrist shot.” – Mike Morreale, NHL.com

“Another well-rounded player who is capable of playing in all situations and up and down the lineup.” – Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet

“The right-shot Swedish right winger has elite creativity and game-breaking skill. He’s generally viewed as a more natural playmaker than goal scorer but he’s certainly capable of finishing plays.” – Bob McKenzie, TSN

Strengths

  • Playmaking
  • Speed
  • IQ
  • 200-Foot Game

Under Construction – Improvements to Make

  • Production (Should come with opportunity)
  • Skating on a smaller ice surface

NHL Potential

Risk/Reward Analysis

Risk – 2.5/5, Reward – 4.5/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offense – 9/10, Defense – 8/10

Awards/Achievements

  • Champions Hockey League Champion – 2019-20
  • U20 WJC Bronze Medal – 2019-20
  • Champions Hockey League Champion – 2018-19
  • U17 WHC All-Star Team – 2018-19
  • U17 WHC Bronze Medal – 2018-19
  • U18 WJC Gold Medal – 2018-19
  • Hlinka Memorial Silver Medal – 2018-19

Interview/Profile Links

Videos