“Five For…” is a Q&A feature with NHL Draft eligibles that touches on their lives and careers leading into the 2020 NHL Draft. This edition features forward Lucas Raymond of Frolunda HC.
The nerves aren’t hitting Lucas Raymond.
At least not totally.
With his season finished and nothing within his control until after the 2020 NHL Draft, Raymond understands there’s not much left he can do to help his draft stock.
The pressure, for the most part, has dropped as a result.
“I think it’s a mix,” said Raymond, who had 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 33 games with Frolunda in the SHL this season, and slots in at No. 4 in Future Considerations’ Spring ranking for the 2020 draft.
“It’s not a good feeling not being able to control anything, but in the same way knowing you can’t do anything, you have to wait and see what happens. I’m not stressing about it.
“You just have to wait and see what happens.”
Future Considerations recently caught up with Raymond:
FC: What did you like about your season and what did you feel you needed to improve upon?
LR: “It was a very, very good season for me playing in the men’s league with all that talent. It’s a huge difference playing against men than in juniors. It was an extremely valuable season for me. You always want to perform better and play better regardless of if you play well. I’m very happy with the season and I developed a lot.”
FC: Do you have to balance your expectations playing up a league?
LR: “We had probably the best team in all of Europe this season. It was a tough competition. We had guys who have won SHL scoring titles every year and very, very good guys. It was a tough environment but at the same time, that was very helpful as well. You have to fight for your spot. You have to steal someone’s job to be able to play. That was a really good experience. I learned a lot.”
FC: Who was your biggest influence this season?
LR: “The coaching staff helped me a lot, watching video all the time almost. All the players are such great guys as well. They helped me a lot also, watching video and teaching me tricks you can use on the ice to improve or be more efficient, stuff like that. I got help from a lot of guys. I got all the help I needed.”
FC: Did you feel any extra pressure given it was your draft year and you’re a potential top pick?
LR: “I don’t think so. All I was thinking about was playing good and I didn’t really think about the draft or anything like that. My focus was on winning games and playing good. My focus was on Frolunda. That was our whole team’s mindset. That was all I was thinking about as well.”
FC: Who do you talk to about the draft and its pressure?
LR: “During the season I tried not to think about it. I tried to focus on Frolunda, the team and playing good. I didn’t really think about it. But I had a lot of great players on our team and it was a great, great team with players that had been drafted like Brandon Gormley. I think he was 13th overall (by the Arizona Coyotes in 2010). We talked about it sometimes and he gave me his experience and how it was. We talked about it a bit, but I tried to block it out and just focus on playing hockey.”