This is part 18 of my Prospect File series where I update you guys’ on Hockey’s Future’s Top 20 Anaheim Ducks prospects. This will be a daily series that will hopefully end before the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. I will also be doing a series on possible players the Ducks will take with their first round pick. Part 17 was on center Peter Holland. So, next up in part 18 is #3 on HF’s Top 20, center Rickard Rakell.
This guy might make a splash in the NHL next season. Rickard Rakell, selected by the Anaheim Ducks 30th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, dipped his feet into the NHL with a short tryout into the regular season this past season. He went pointless and was a -1 in four games with the Ducks. He wrapped up his junior career with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League at just slightly over a point-per-game. I’ve appeared on a podcast a couple of times called NHL On the Ice with Yates and Ames and talked with someone who had personally been able to watch many of his games and he couldn’t say enough good things about Rakell. He even went as far as to say that Rakell will be a 30-goal scorer. He certainly has the offensive upside to do that. He’s either going to be with the Admirals or the Ducks next year. Entering training camp, I’m sure he would be one of the young guys who gets as many chances as possible to make the roster. He’s already impressed them enough to make the roster once, but now that juniors is out of the picture, he has an even better chance to make the roster and stay. And yes, you can call me Captain Obvious.
Weight: 191 lbs.
“Much like Etem, Rakell has made a name for himself as a balanced forward who will be defensively responsible and may be a solid goal scorer at the top level. Rakell had a brief stay with the Ducks to start the year but was sent back to the OHL with the Plymouth Whalers after just four games. The Swede went on to have over a point-per-game pace with Plymouth and had a very strong point-per-game playoffs as well. His scoring may or may not translate at the top level, but Rakell has all the skills to succeed. His size and intelligence are enough to potentially make him a valuable top line forward and potential 20 goal, 30 assist player. He has concluded his final year of juniors and next year will take his first step into full time professional hockey. Whether he ends up with Norfolk or Anaheim will be decided at next year’s camp.”
“A hard working player with good attitude and vision. Rakell plays a solid two-way game and is fairly all-round overall. Has some interesting offensive upside and sometimes makes really nice plays while stickhandling through traffic. Capable scorer with a nice release. (EP 2011)”
“Is incredibly versatile, capable of lining up at any forward position and also able to play several different roles on a hockey team. Excels at the two-way game. Isn’t overly big or physical, which somewhat lessens his checking upside at the NHL level. Also, he can get pushed off the puck at times.”
Next up in the series will be goaltender John Gibson.