Had the Detroit Red Wings ‘won' the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, the decision for GM Steve Yzerman would have been so easy that even Ken Holland could have made it. (Sorry, too soon?)
Unfortunately, the Red Wings do not have the No. 1 overall pick, but instead, they will be picking No. 4 overall when the draft rolls around. Because of that, Yzerman will have a much more difficult decision on his hands when the Wings are officially on the clock.
According to The Athletic's Mock Draft 1.0 which was put together by Corey Pronman, with Max Bultman playing the role of Yzerman, the Red Wings take a ‘leap of faith' and select LW Lucas Raymond.
From The Athletic:
4. Detroit Red Wings: Lucas Raymond, LW, Frolunda-SHL
Max Bultman: The Red Wings need a game-changer, plain and simple. And while Raymond had a comparatively quieter statistical season in the SHL with Frolunda, he has the dynamic skillset to help Detroit catch lightning in a bottle after its tumble to the fourth pick. Raymond’s hockey sense and creativity can make him the Red Wings’ chief playmaker of the future, even from the wing. And he has shown an ability to take over in big moments, such as his hat trick in the 2018 World U18 gold medal game against Iaroslav Askarov and Russia. The idea of pairing Raymond with Anthony Mantha or Filip Zadina should be tantalizing for Detroit.
Because of Raymond’s more limited role in the SHL this season, it may take a bit of a leap of faith for Detroit to use this pick on him. But one potential development in his favor could be the SHL returning in mid-September, before the draft. If an expanded role allows him to better showcase his dynamic qualities, he will have a chance to put any reservations at ease.
Pronman’s take: Raymond is a player you could realistically project to be a first-line, first power play type who runs your man advantage and makes a ton of plays. He is not Lafreniere or Byfield, but he’s a great player and someone you could see playing high in the Wings’ lineup in a few years. He will feed passes to Zadina for years to come.
Nation, how would you feel about the Red Wings selecting Lucas Raymond with the No. 4 overall pick?