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Lucas Raymond’s progress toward the North American style of hockey – a more actual game on more modest ice – has been smooth through two rounds of the NHL Prospects Tournament.
Raymond drives the Detroit Red Wings with three objectives, showing a portion of the abilities and hockey sense that made him the fourth in general choice in 2020.
But it’s the 19-year-old traditional’s seriousness and play without the puck that has intrigued Grand Rapids Griffins mentor Ben Simon, who is instructing the possibilities team.
“He’s competing, he’s working hard,” Simon said following Saturday’s 5-2 misfortune to St. Louis at Center I.C.E. Field in Traverse City. “I think (his scoring) is the result of his play away from the puck and his willingness to get to the hard-to-score areas. He’s been good on the power play with his patience and composure. We’ve used him on the PK.
“When things got a little bit rough and chippy, he got frustrated initially in the first period, but he kept his work boots on and really continued to fight through. I thought he showed a little bit of resilience in that regard and was extremely happy with the way he competed.”
The Red Wings wrap up the competition around evening time against Columbus (6 p.m., live gushed on DetroitRedWings.com) before the beginning of the primary camp on Thursday. That is the point at which Raymond’s push for a list spot starts in earnest.
Raymond, nonetheless, was scratched from the setup Sunday for preparatory reasons, as was linemate Jonatan Berggren.
“He’s a hell of a player. He’s got tremendous skill. He competes really hard,” Joe Veleno, Raymond’s middle, said. “He’s good a good knack for the game, good hockey sense. He’s easy to talk to, build chemistry with.”
Responding to chippy play
The Red Wings expected an actual game Saturday, and that is the thing that they got. Berggren, on the top line with Veleno and Raymond, experienced an obvious left arm injury when checked behind the Blues net halfway through the primary time frame. Simon had no prompt update on his condition.
“That’s kind of the makeup of the team they brought here,” Simon said. “They have some experienced, older guys, bigger bodies. I thought our guys, when things got a little bit rough and scrappy, continued to compete get their noses dirty.”
That positively was the situation with 19-year-old defenseman Donovan Sebrango, who battled Brayden Guy in the first period.
“I don’t go into the game thinking about fighting. I just play my game,” Sebrango said. “I definitely don’t shy away from it. They were playing physical, and I just wanted to set a tone, let them know we weren’t backing down from them.”
Said Veleno: “I didn’t know he could fight that well. I’ve seen him off the ice, he’s got some good size. He’s definitely a hard-nosed defenseman. He impressed me with that fight today.”
Tough night for Cossa
Sebastian Cossa, the fifteenth generally speaking pick in the current year’s draft, permitted five objectives on 30 shots in his solitary appearance of the tournament.
“He hadn’t played in a while, so I think he was a little nervous at the start,” Simon said. “Three power play goals (against), would like to have a couple of those back, but those are more structural.
“You’re going to have bad bounces, but I think he settled in nicely. That shows a little bit of mental fortitude on his part, a little bit of resilience. It was good for him to have experience of playing in this tournament when things are a little bit chaotic at times because of a lack of structure because teams haven’t been together for so long. But he was fine tonight.”
Jared Bednar, a fourth-round pick in 2020 (107th) will begin this evening for the Red Wings.
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