2020 NHL Draft Preview: Lucas Raymond, Swedish Forward

Last Friday, the lottery blessed Los Angeles with winning the No. 2 overall pick. We have already covered a couple players most likely on the Kings’ radar – most notably Quinton Byfield and Tim Stützle. Looking at mock drafts and rankings, it’s a two-man race for second overall.

Or is it?

MayorsManor editor John Hoven suggested potential interest from the Kings on another prospect.

LUCAS RAYMOND

Vitals

Date of Birth: March 28, 2002
Height: 5’10
Weight: 165 lbs
Shoots: Right
Position: Forward

2019-20 Season

Raymond played most of the 2019-20 season for Frölunda of the Sweden Hockey League (SHL) – this is the highest-level league in Sweden. He accumulated 10 points (4 G, 6 A) in 33 contests.

LA Clubbing

As mentioned in the above referenced tweet, Raymond played on the same team as current Kings prospects Samuel Fagemo and Jacob Moverare. They have all been teammates since the 2018-19 season when the defenseman joined the club. The forwards have been in the Frölunda organization in some capacity (though not always on the same team) since 2014-15.

Moreover, Raymond has been on Sweden’s international teams with other Kings blueliner Tobias Bjornfot since they were both on the U-16 team back in 2016-17. Raymond, Fagemo, and Bjornfot all won bronze most recently at the U-20 WJC back in January.

To say they are familiar with Raymond would be an understatement.

“We Are the Champions, My Friend”

The native of Göteborg, Sweden has collected a lot of hardware at a young age. He is a back-to-back Champions Hockey League (CHL) champion on Frölunda. For reference, the CHL is an extra league played during the European regular season, which consists of the top teams from each European league.

He has also picked up 10 medals in the past four seasons of international play, including 4 bronze, 4 silver, 2 gold.

Hats Off

Though Raymond has been watched for several years by organizations, he opened many eyes and elevated his stock back in 2019 during the U-18 WJC. In the gold medal game, he scored a hat trick (including the overtime goal) to help Sweden beat Russia, 4-3.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwz8w8YBQ_C/

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bw0HbOnjCeo/

Rankings by Independent Scouting Services

The Draft Analyst, Ninth. “Playing either finesse or power game with effectiveness is part of what separates Raymond from most of the pack. He doesn’t get cheated and tries to impact the game at all times with or without the puck. He certainly likes to be in control and run the possession from as early as retrieval behind his own net. You can tell he’s processing multiple options in a relatively short period of time before making a decision, and an oft-used methodical approach into enemy territory still frightens defenders into backing in well off the line. Once he’s inside the zone, you’re at his mercy, as Raymond is incredibly effective off the cycle and shows a clear understanding for set plays. If he isn’t a student of the game, then he sure knows how to play like one, as he’s too fine a playmaker and passer to not know what the opponent is thinking.”

Future Considerations, Fourth. In their final rankings, they compliment his high motor, skating, and hockey IQ which makes him a dangerous two-way player.

Hockey Prospect, Eighth. In their Black Book, they juxtaposed his physical lack of readiness against his ability to take advantage of the skills he possesses, which made him a hard read. When breaking down specific traits, his highest rated attribute was his skill – a 9 on a scale of 3-9.

See For Yourself

Raymond’s game was broken down by Will Scouching, who has a channel tracking the games of several draft eligible prospects.

Final Comments
Raymond is not listed as a top-2 player by any independent scouting service. Keep in mind, though, organizational lists vary quite a bit (this is why a player like Anze Kopitar or Gabe Vilardi fell to 11th overall).

Raymond played fourth line minutes in one of, if not the, top European professional leagues as a 17-year-old. His numbers don’t stand out as a result, yet we can’t stress enough the importance of context. A player like Elias Pettersson didn’t even play in the SHL in his draft year.

He’s exclusively a winger. While this doesn’t get pointed out as advocating drafting for need, he would check another box if the Kings determine him as the best player available.

The independent scouting reports don’t have too many criticisms of his game, save for lack of physical readiness. This can be addressed with time. He set high expectations with his U-18 heroics in 2019, and was then put in a position where he couldn’t meet them the following season, which gives evaluators pause.

What we do know is Rob Blake, Mark Yannetti, and the rest of their scouting staff don’t plan on anymore top picks anytime soon. They are going to do their homework to make this top pick count.

https://twitter.com/eliteprospects/status/1276564631637626880

NOTE: David Hofreiter was the lead contributor in the gathering of information used in this article. You can find him on Twitter @Davidenkness to talk more hockey.

Recent Articles

This Date in LA Kings History: September 24

In memory of former @LAKings forward Dan Maloney, who was born on September 24, 1950.#LAKings #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/MjkGxxCivD
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) September 24, 2020

On September 24, 1998, the @LAKings re-signed Jamie Storr to a three-year, $3 million contract. Storr was named to the NHL's 1997-98 All-Rookie Team after posting a record of 9-5-1, with a 2.22 […]

This Date in LA Kings History: September 23

Happy birthday to former @LAKings forward Dan Bonar, who was born on September 23, 1956.#LAKings #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/jTCqp9ApxQ
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) September 23, 2020

Happy birthday to former @LAKings forward Dixon Ward, who was born on September 23, 1968.#LAKings #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/ylNS2abpmI
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) September 23, 2020

Happy birthday to former @LAKings forward Donald Audette, who was born […]

This Date in LA Kings History: September 22

Happy birthday to former @LAKings forward Carl Mokosak, who was born on September 22, 1962.#LAKings #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/rpKu3G85js
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) September 22, 2020

Happy birthday to former @LAKings defenseman Craig Redmond, who was born on September 22, 1965.#LAKings #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/DXBTA4zW2W
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) September 22, 2020

Happy birthday to former @LAKings forward Brandy Semchuk, who was born […]

Major News Items

2020 NHL Draft Preview: Ryan O’Rourke, OHL Defenseman

In a previous article, we examined a player the Kings could be targeting for their second selection at the 2020 NHL Draft - meaning, after they take somebody in the No. 2 overall position. For context, MayorsManor editor … [Read More...]

More Prospect News