DETROIT – Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond, the first two former first-round draft selections of Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman in 2019 and 2020, respectively, showcased their developmental growth throughout the 2023-24 season.  

Raymond elevated his game to new heights this season, leading the Red Wings with a career-high 72 points (31-41--72) in 82 games. Selected fourth overall by Detroit in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Raymond is the third player aged 22 or younger to lead the club in points in a single season, joining captain Dylan Larkin (2017-18, 2018-19) and former captain Yzerman (1987-88).

“(Raymond) certainly showed, more so down the stretch, his game-breaking ability,” Yzerman said last Friday during his 2023-24 end-of-season media session. “Scoring big goals, key goals. We watched him do that in junior prior to being drafted. Just down the stretch, all the key goals that he scored, I don’t think that’s an aberration. I think he’s going to continue to do that.”

Steve Yzerman | End of Season Media Availability

Yzerman said the 21-year-old Raymond looked more comfortable and confident on the ice in his third NHL season.

“I thought (Raymond) played well last year,” Yzerman said. “It was a grind. He took a beating, and he kept getting up and playing. I just think he’s even more confident three years in the league now. He has a good understanding of it. He’s a fabulous, talented player with great hockey sense and plays with a lot of courage and determination.”

As for Seider, the 23-year-old defenseman notched a career-high nine goals along with 33 assists in 82 games this season, matching his point total (42) from the 2022-23 campaign. Continuing to anchor Detroit’s blue line, Seider led the Red Wings in average time on ice (22:22) and was the only NHL player with at least 200 blocks and 200 hits this season.

“He battles hard every game,” Yzerman said about Seider. “He blocks shots, gets hit, makes plays. We’re asking him to do a lot. He’s got the mental toughness to weather it all.”

Yzerman applauded Seider, the former sixth overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, for taking on increased defensive responsibility every season and being able to adapt to different situations.

“As our team gets better around him, (Seider’s) role might change a little bit,” Yzerman said. “He’ll be used a little bit differently, which I think will allow him to display offensive side of his game a little bit.”

Last Thursday, before departing Detroit for the summer, Seider and Raymond both expressed their desire to don the Winged Wheel for years to come. The pair of blossoming stars are among the six Red Wings players and prospects set to become restricted free agents this offseason.

“It’s not a big secret I want to be a Red Wing,” Seider said. “I think I’m also confident enough that I could be a good asset for this organization, and that really matters to me. I think then you can talk about numbers, lengths and how long the contract should be, but those two first parts fit well - and they do – then I’m pretty confident we’ve got something done.”

Raymond agreed with Seider about his desire to remain part of the Red Wings’ resurgence.

“What I do know is that I love this team," Raymond said. "I love the city and I want to be here.”