from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
The first NHL game Lucas Raymond attended was at Madison Square Garden in New York. It was a cool experience, but not nearly as cool as the one that awaits at the historic venue Thursday.
The Detroit Red Wings take on the New York Rangers there in a match that pits two of the top picks in 2020 against one another. The Wings selected Raymond at No. 4, their spot following the draft lottery despite the worst record of the 2019-20 season. The Rangers went from the playoff bubble to getting the No. 1 overall pick, selecting consensus top prospect Alexis Lafreniere.
Lafreniere, in his second season, has 13 points in 46 games. Raymond leads the NHL rookie scoring race with 39 points in 50 games.
"Every draft is different and that draft, and if you look through the first 20 or so picks, there’s a lot of really good players in that mix," coach Jeff Blashill said Wednesday. "The first four or five picks were all really good prospects. We were lucky it was that deep at the top of the draft, and to get a player of what I think his caliber is going to be in the long term was definitely a big thing at No. 4."