Colorado Avalanche Draft Profile: Smooth Lucas Raymond

The Colorado Avalanche will pick in the low 20s, so the smoothly skilled Lucas Raymond will not fall into their selection.

The Colorado Avalanche are going to have a low draft pick in the first round this season. If we take the standings as they are now, the division leaders will take the bottom four spots. The Avalanche will be next at #27.

Lucas Raymond is a winger out of Sweden. He’s been playing for Frölunda HC of the top-tier Swedish Hockey League. He’s also represented Sweden numerous times in international competitions.

Raymond is ranked to go between the fourth and sixth positions by many scouts — so well before Colorado calls in their draft pick. (Or teleconferences it in.) He’s ranked #4 for European skaters by Central Scouting.

Raymond is on the small end for a forward at 5-foot-10, 165 pounds, though he’ll add to that in the next couple years. He can play both wing positions. He’s a right-hand shot.

Let’s see what Lucas Raymond will offer to some team, someone along the lines of the Ducks or Devils.

Lucas Raymond Stats

Lucas Raymond has played between the top-tier SHL and the next rung down for the last two seasons. The SHL is a men’s league, so teenagers making it means they’re very good. That said, teens playing in the SHL often don’t boast high statistics.

In the SHL, Raymond has recorded 6 goals and 6 assists for 12 points in 43 games. By comparison, he’s recorded 16 goals and 46 assists for 62 points in 46 games in the SuperElit League.

Internationally, Raymond last played in the International Juniors for Sweden U20, recording 3 goals and 3 assists for 6 points in 15 games. He also played in the World Junior Championships for Sweden U20, recording 2 goals and 2 assists for 4 points in 7 games.

Lucas Raymond Highlights

Lucas Raymond is known as being a smooth player. He has the elite skills on skates and with his stick that you’d expect of a player scouted to go so high in the draft. Elite Prospects sees this in his game:

“A very well-rounded and highly skilled winger. Raymond is blessed with exceptional hockey sense. Furthermore, he has terrific hands, great speed and fine work ethic.”

The site calls him a “nightmare” to play against because of his forechecking and puck-stealing ability.

Bill Placzek of Draft Site concurs. He sees Raymond as a player who has the puck “from the opening bell.” He adds:

“The puck finds him, and he is always around it if he isn’t in possession. Has excellent hands, excellent edge control and short area quickness and terrific vision that catapults him to the upper tier of the draft class as a elite playmaker and opportunistic scorer.”

Indeed, Placzek thinks he has the “high-end creativity” reminiscent of Peter Forsberg. That’s some high praise. We’d better look at some Raymond highlights.

Boy, he does have some vision.

Colorado Avalanche and Lucas Raymond

Naturally, what Colorado Avalanche fan wouldn’t want the reincarnation of Peter Forsberg to return to the team? I guess at this point you start questioning whether it’s possible to trade up. Of course, Colorado would have to trade more than 20 spaces up to secure Raymond. If he hadn’t gone by, like, 5 would Joe Sakic be on the horn with Gary Bettman to put a pause on the draft while he finished raking the New Jersey Devils over the coals?

Ah, probably not. Lucas Raymond has some high-end skills, but it probably wouldn’t be worth it to beggar the prospect pool to acquire him. We’ve got some up-and-coming talent in the pipeline.

Nonetheless, as noted Lucas Raymond is going to bring some smooth skills to whatever team drafts him.

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The Colorado Avalanche will get a nice depth player when their turn to draft finally comes up. It won’t be a player of Raymond’s ilk, but I’m sure he’ll be NHL material down the line.

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