The young Ducks rookie Rickard Rakell has been impressing fans of the Anaheim club with his speed and grinding plays, but it hasn’t been enough to score his first NHL goal. This young 20 year-old may be slow to score his first goal, but he is definitely a very promising talent for this team.
He was drafted in 2011 in the first round (30th overall) from the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League and continued to make an impact on the club from Anaheim’s affiliate in the American Hockey League. He’s from Sundbyberg, Sweden and has played on Sweden’s junior national team in the IIHF World Junior Ice Hockey Championships three times, winning fourth place in 2011, gold in 2012 and silver in 2013.
Having defined himself as a skilled player in Norfolk, he has been called up to fill in gaps on Anaheim’s offensive end due to a recent spat of injuries. With his short run in Anaheim this season, he has defined himself as a much-needed player by taking turnovers and grinding along the boards as necessary.
He has played 16 games with the Ducks so far this season, but has only had four assists and 20 shots on goal. This leaves a question, “Should he stay or go back to Norfolk?”
Right now, he is needed as we have injured players that need to be replaced. Is he ready to stay and contribute? In order to answer this conundrum further one can only look at a recent acquisition by the Ducks: Andrew Cogliano.
After Anaheim was able to get Cogliano from the Edmonton Oilers in 2012, he played all 82 games in the season but only scored 13 goals. In his previous season with the Oilers he scored 24 goals. Now, this season he has scored 22 goals so far and there are still a few games left.
Rakell may not be the next Cogliano, but if he stays on the same path the goals will develop. His greatest work is yet to come, but in meantime the fans can look forward to Rackell’s strong effort out on the ice. He is expected to remain with the team leading to and perhaps during playoffs.
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