Kicking off night one of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the opening round proved to be very successful for most teams across the league, especially for the Detroit Red Wings. Holding the fourth-overall selection, general manager Steve Yzerman and his staff decided to strengthen the team’s forward depth by drafting Lucas Raymond from the Frölunda HC.

Born and raised in Sweden, Raymond, 18, is an extremely talented winger who has impressive hands and features an outstanding wrist shot. Considered a two-way forward, the right-hander has proven he can make an impact at both ends of the ice, thanks to his strong puck-stealing ability along with his forechecking.

Speaking with several teams prior to the draft, the promising young forward felt comfortable with every organization he spoke to but the Red Wings stood out to him in many different ways. That said, the Swedish native admitted he didn’t want to get ahead of himself just in case he was selected by another team, but he’s now extremely happy to be apart of this franchise.

“You talk to a lot of teams and talking to Detroit I got a really good feeling and they felt good,” Raymond discussed. “So that’s kind of where I got it from and got some idea of where I was going to go, but I didn’t really want to get my hopes up either or speculate. But it was so exciting when they said my name and [I’m] still a bit shocked.” 

Over the last decade or so, the Red Wings have featured plenty of all-star skaters from Sweden, notably Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, and Niklas Kronwall. Carrying over to current times, this team continues to utilize Swedish-born players like Christoffer Ehn, Gustav Lindstrom, Jonatan Berggren, Albert Johansson, Albin Grewe, Filip Larsson, Elmer Soderblom, and Jesper Eliasson.

Joining a historical organization like Detroit is never a small task, especially for someone who’s from Sweden. While Raymond has big shoes to fill, the speedy forward mentioned he’s certainly willing to speak to some of his fellow countrymen in the near future.

“If they want to talk to me I would be extremely happy and excited,” Raymond explained. “They’re Swedish legends and especially in Detroit. So that would be extremely fun and extremely valuable as well.”  

While the 5-foot-10 forward is expected to spend the entirety of the 2020-21 campaign overseas, as he continues to play for Frölunda HC in the SHL, the youngster might be able to make a quick transition into the NHL over the next few seasons. Regardless of when he makes his debut in Detroit, Raymond is just extremely happy to be wearing red and white and he can’t wait to start playing at Little Caesars Arena.

“It’s extremely honoring, Detroit is an original six team, a really classic team – watched them growing up, have a lot of great players,” Raymond detailed. “So I’m really excited to get into Detroit, I got a really good feeling about the city as well when I was there. So I’m just looking forward to getting there and start playing.”