The NHL Season is quickly approaching, with that in mind we’re going to take a look at who is (likely) to be on the Leafs roster come October 1 in Montreal. Contract numbers via CapGeek.com; Regular Stats via Hockey-reference.com; Nerd stats via behindthenet.ca. For the rest of our Player Previews go here.
Mason Raymond, No.21, left-wing| 6’0″, 185 LBS | 28-years old.
ToT Approved Nicknames:
Bambi…seriously this is one of his nicknames. He got it because he skates fast and deer run fast or something. Plus every time I see him it looks like he just watched the scene where Bambi’s mom is killed.
6 NHL seasons, all with Vancouver, 374 GP
Currently on a Professional Try Out; Likely to sign a 1-year deal for around $1-million
374 GP 80 Goals 98 Assists 178 Points
46 GP 10 Goals 12 Assists 22 Points
On-Ice Corsi -1.84; PDO 1016
You Oughta Know:
Now that he’s no longer a Canuck, Vancouver might be a whole lot more sober on game nights, since they will no longer be able to play the Mason Raymond drinking game. Seriously, Canucks fans created a drinking game where they would do a shot/chug a beer every time Raymond fell down for no reason. I guess I know what my Saturday nights are going to be like this winter.
Mason Raymond had a solid career for the Vancouver Canucks but ultimately fell out of favour because he never met the expectations that surrounded him. His blazing speed constantly has hockey people drooling over what he could do, but unlike fellow Leafs speedster Phil Kessel, Raymond just doesn’t have the other offensive skills to be a truly elite player.
If Canucks fans could have come to terms with the fact that Raymond is likely a very good third line winger, or at best filling in on the second line in a pinch, they probably could have come to terms with Raymond’s production. Alas, that tantalizing speed, and “what if” potential was too much to look past.
Raymond has averaged around .21 goals per game over his career, which works out to 17-ish goals per 82 games played. If you can get a third line winger, with the kind of speed that Raymond has, that can score at that rate, you can’t pass it up.
What to Expect:
If Raymond makes the Maple Leafs roster (which seems like a formality at this point), he will in all likelihood slot into a third line wing spot along with Dave Bolland and Nikolai Kulemin. The line will primarily be used in a shutdown/energy role, but has the talent to end the seemingly endless search for secondary scoring in Toronto. All 3 players have shown flashes of offensive brilliance, and should be able to give the opposition fits with their blend of speed, skill, and size.
Having Raymond fall into their laps was one of the best offseason moves made by the Maple Leafs, plugging Raymond into the third line instead of random Marlies player or god forbid one of the face punchers turns the position from a possible hole in the line up to a strength.
If he can remain healthy, which has been a challenge for Raymond in the past, I expect him to score 15-20 goals on that third line for the Leafs, potting around the same number of assists. Not only does Raymond have the skill to put up these numbers, but he will be motivated to show the league what he can do after he wasn’t able to secure a guaranteed contract this offseason.