What Lucas Raymond's play at World Championship says about future with Detroit Red Wings

Lucas Raymond will leave the 2024 World championship with a bronze medal at best, but individually, his performance rated gold.

The lone Detroit Red Wings player left at the annual event produced his ninth point in nine games Saturday, but Sweden fell to host Czechia, 7-3, in semifinal action at Prague Arena in Prague. With Switzerland stunning Canada, 3-2 in a shootout, in the other semifinal, Sweden will play Canada in Sunday's consolation game, while Czechia and Switzerland play for gold and silver.

Raymond has four goals and five assists going into the final day of games. It's not the Stanley Cup playoffs, but it is an elite tournament and the way Raymond delivered at crucial times bodes well for what impact he'll have when the Wings do make it back to the playoffs. He had a hand in goals scored in the semifinal and quarterfinal (against Finland), and scored in the opening game against the U.S., which set Sweden on a path to win Group B.

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Not that it is a surprise: Raymond, 22, was the Wings' best player down the stretch, with 11 points (six goals, five assists) the last six games. He had about three weeks of downtime between the end of the NHL season and the first game at Worlds. Crucially, Sweden secured insurance for Raymond, who is a restricted free agent due a lucrative new contract. All he has done over the past couple months is drive up his price, probably to somewhere in the range of $7 million annually.

Germany, unfortunately, was not able to insure Moritz Seider, who likewise is restricted and due a big payday. That denied Seider a chance to take part in the event.

On Saturday, Raymond set up the goal scored by Joel Eriksson Ek, which pulled Sweden within 5-3. That was shortly after Sweden replaced goaltender Filip Gustavsson with Samuel Ersson. Gustavsson was pulled after allowing a second goal to former Wings forward Dominik Kubalik, who also had an assist. (Kubalik was part of the deal that persuaded the Ottawa Senators to send Alex DeBrincat to Detroit last summer.)

The Wings had multiple personnel in the tournament, but that participation dwindled in the quarterfinals, when the U.S. was unable to solve Czech goaltender Lukas Dostal, who made 36 saves to lead his country to a 1-0 victory and bump the Americans from the tournament. (Dostal was great again Saturday, when Sweden outshot Czechia, 40-23.) The U.S. loss meant the end for defenseman Jeff Petry and goaltending prospect Trey Augustine, as well as Derek Lalonde and Alex Westlund, who were part of the coaching staff. Dylan Larkin's participation was cut short pre-tournament because of an injury.

Olli Määttä's tournament also ended in the quarterfinals when Finland lost to Sweden, 2-1, in overtime.

Contact Helene St. James at Follow her @helenestjames.

Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from  Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

Feeling a draft

What: 2024 NHL draft.

Fast facts: June 28-29; Sphere, Las Vegas; ESPN.

The Wings’ top pick: No. 15, their lowest first pick since 2016 (No. 20, D Dennis Cholowski).

The top five: 1. San Jose, 2. Chicago, 3. Anaheim, 4. Montreal, 5. Columbus.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Red Wings' Lucas Raymond stands out at World Championship