Many scouts would watch Raymond play in Sweden’s top league and leave the arena shaking their heads, wondering how a player who did so many great things was receiving such little ice time. But that’s how they roll in Sweden when it comes to 17-year-olds.
When Raymond played junior at home, he looked bored and frustrated. So that leaves competition against the best young players on the planet, and if the world under-18s and WJC are an indication, Raymond is an elite talent at both ends of the ice. And he has a healthy abundance of deception in his game. “He’s a set-up artist,” said one scout. “He sets you up to beat you. He’s so good at keeping opponents at bay, and by the time you realize he’s beaten you, it’s too late.”
Because he’s always played against older players and he’s physically a long way from being able to play in the NHL, projections are difficult. “You know what Byfield is going to be, you know what Lafreniere is going to be, you know what Holtz is going to be,” said another scout. “But (Raymond) is the guy where there’s a little bit of faith-based scouting.”
BEST CASE | Mitch Marner
This excerpt is from The Hockey News' Draft Preview issue. Purchase a digital copy of the issue here.