Playing way up North, and way over to the West, generally keeps the Vancouver Canucks out of the spotlight. Only when players do something very special do we hear about them (Bure, Sedin twins). Mason Raymond is a good young player that’s deserves to get some attention.
Career Stats: Games – Goals – Assists
- 2007-2008: 49 – 9 – 12
- 2008-2009: 72 – 11 – 12
- 2009-2010: 82 – 25 – 28
- 2010-2010: 22 – 4 – 9
It’s obvious he’s not going to be a superstar in the league, but as a second line player on a team with good depth, he’s dangerous. He’s off to a bit of a slower start this season, and needs to get going a bit more.
Profile: Raymond spent two memorable seasons in the AJHL. In his rookie year he lead the Camrose Kodiaks in scoring with 27 goals and 62 points. Although he was heavily recruited by a few big NCAA schools, he stayed in Canada another year, and won the MVP after leading the league with 41 goals. Although he was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in 2005, he opted to go to Minnesota-Duluth of the WCHA. Once again, he had a productive two seasons before moving onto the next level. He was part of the all-rookie team as a freshman, and followed up by leading Bulldogs in scoring as a sophomore with 14 goals and 32 assists. That was also good enough for second in the league behind some guy named Jonathan Toews. In 2007-08 he bounced between the Canucks and their AHL team, before finally getting a regular spot with the big club in 2008-09. He also has some brief international experience, playing 3 games for Team Canada in the 2010 World Championships.
What Makes Him Special?: My favorite expression in sports is “Speed Kills”. No matter how talented, smart, big or small an athlete is, if they can do things at a high pace, they can play well. And Mason Raymond is well known or his speed. You won’t see much fancy stickwork when he goes around defenders; he’s just kicks into gear and flies past them at will. And he does it so smoothly and effortlessly, that they can’t even see it coming and prepare to take an angle to try cutting him off. Raymond is also a smart shooter, knowing when and where to pick his spots, and how to get the goalie slightly out of position. As the other stars in Vancouver start to age, he’s going to step up and fill their shoes. So far, he’s well on his way to doing that.
Jersey Worthy: Yes. The Sedin’s are the popular pick, especially now that one has an MVP and the other might be a finalist this year. Luongo’s reputation as a big game choke artist is growing every season. Might as well get a sweater to support the youth.
Hate Factor: Low. You can’t catch hate what you can’t see. He’s a finesse guy, not a fighter or a pest.
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