1. Rickard Rakell
Rickard Rakell is someone who will want to forget this season perhaps more than anyone else on the Ducks roster. The high flying Swede had a career year last season that culminated in his first All-Star selection. This season, however, he struggled to get off the ground. He is 5th on the team in points this year but, as mentioned above, that is not much of an accomplishment.
If the season ended today he would finish with just 2 more goals and 2 more points more than his all-time career low. Rakell has posted 43, 51, and 69 points over the last three seasons and this year he will be lucky to eclipse 40. When you post one point shy of 70 just one season ago people expect big things the following season. This has been a complete disappointment for Rakell and the biggest hope is he comes back motivated next season.
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There isn’t much to dive into on Rakell other than it’s a down year. They are allowed and it happens, and with the season the Ducks have had it’s better it happens now and he returns to form with the team next season.
The Ducks need Rakell to be the next big superstar while the kids learn the way. Rakell has proven he can be a 70 point player and the Anaheim Ducks need that and then some. He is shifty, quick, and has a great shot. He is equally adept at scoring as he is at making the pass to set a teammate up and all of it needs to be on display.
A bad season is allowed, but there needs to be a huge bounce back. Again, Rakell should excel in a faster more offensive based system under a new coaching staff and have a renewed energy and confidence that was severely lacking this season.
Should Rickard Rakell stumble again, the Anaheim Ducks could find themselves stuck in another tough season next year. If we start to see a declining pattern, it won’t be as easy to forgive Rakell next time around.