The Detroit Red Wings have signed another impressive young forward, reaching a three-year entry-level contract with Lucas Raymond. The deal will kick in for the 2021-22 season and, according to PuckPedia, carry a cap hit of $925K. The contract includes up to $850K in Schedule “A” performance bonuses and $1.65M in Schedule “B” bonuses each season.
Raymond, 19, was the fourth overall pick in the 2020 draft behind the trio of Alexis Lafreniere, Quinton Byfield and Tim Stutzle. The Swedish forward spent this season in the SHL, once again suiting up for Frolunda. In his second full season for the professional club, he was given even more responsibility and ended up with 18 points in 34 games.
While that number doesn’t jump off the page, there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to Raymond’s offensive upside. The 5-foot-10 winger has brilliant vision and routinely creates space for his teammates by drawing defenders into him before finding a passing lane. He’s best with the puck on his stick, carrying it through traffic or protecting it in the offensive zone. His future will likely be riding shotgun with the Red Wings' best goal-scorer, racking up points while still being a dangerous shooter in his own right.
Of course, there’s still development to go for the top pick, but getting Raymond under contract means we could see him in the NHL as soon as next season. The fact that he has years of professional experience will only help his transition to the NHL or AHL in 2021-22, should the Red Wings decide that North America is best for him. Of note is the fact that since Raymond’s birthday falls in March, his contract will be able to slide next season too — meaning he will have to play in at least 11 NHL games in 2021-22 to burn the first year.