Anaheim Ducks: Rickard Rakell is an Attractive Asset in Potential Trades

Rickard Rakell #67 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Rickard Rakell #67 of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

It is no secret that several players on the Anaheim Ducks have been involved in recent trade rumors. It was just last week that veteran center, Adam Henrique, was placed on waivers, sparking controversial trade talk to fly rampant through the fanbase. A few days later, Bob Murray was linked to the Vancouver Canucks, reportedly working on a trade involving Jake Virtanen and Danton Heinen.

While the speculation surrounding a Henrique or Heinen trade has settled down, for now, another interesting piece has found its way onto Bob Murray’s trade block. Swedish forward, Rickard Rakell, has recently been the topic of trade discussion.

According to reports, the Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Toronto Maple Leafs are teams who have expressed interest in the 27-year-old winger. As teams who are in a position to make a run in the playoffs, Rakell would add an injection of offense into their lineup.

Rick Rak hasn’t made a huge impact on the score sheet this season, but has his time with the Anaheim Ducks really run its course? Maybe not. However, at the moment, Rakell is possibly the most attractive piece in the Ducks arsenal that could garner a decent package to aid them in the rebuild they have yet to commit to. That is, without having to give up the likes of Jamie Drysdale or Trevor Zegras.

An Attractive Asset for Inquiring GM’s

Rickard Rakell is a productive asset that is currently on a team-friendly deal. This makes him an attractive asset to any General Manager that has the gall to blow up Bob Murray’s phone and inquire about the price of one of Anaheim’s most beloved Swedish wingers.

The Sundbyberg native has been a staple of the Anaheim Ducks’ top six over the last several seasons. He has proven himself to be a hard-working, reliable, and consistent key cog for his team.

Despite his lackluster point totals so far this season, 2 goals and 9 helpers in 22 games, there is no denying that he is still the same flashy, brilliant, and confident player he has always been. A little bit of bad luck, coupled with a team that doesn’t really back him up, has hurt his on-ice production.

Nevertheless, he has proven over the course of his NHL tenure that he is capable of being a 40+ point producer. A player capable of scoring 20 or more goals in a given season could be the missing piece to a team on the verge of playoff greatness.

Even better news, Rakell comes at a relatively decent price. His current AAV is $3,789,444 and he has less than two years left on his current contract. So, a team pushing the playoff narrative could snag a player who can score, has an impeccable work ethic, and has second-line potential; all for under $4M. But, are these teams willing to give up what Bob Murray wants?

The Anaheim Ducks are Holding Him Back

As a fan, it would be a big blow to lose Rickard Rakell. Over the last few years, he has been a player we have placed a lot of hope in. We’ve seen what he can do, and we know he is capable of being an impact player. Team bias aside, however, trading Rakell is one of the more logical options for Bob Murray.

While it is easy to place a player on a pedestal, there is no denying that Rick Rak is no longer the player he was in his 69 point season back in 2017-18. Granted, he still had two back-to-back 40+ point seasons to follow up his career year, but there were a lot of expectations placed on him that he did not meet.

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With Corey Perry gone, he no longer seemed to gel with regular linemate, Ryan Getzlaf. At times, he seemed lost. For prolonged stretches, his name was nowhere to be found on the score sheet. Sure, he’d heat up again, but he was seemingly invisible at times when the team really needed someone to step up.

The organization called for a leader, and he did not rise to the occasion. Nevertheless, can we really fault Rakell when he has had to endure all that he has under the Anaheim Ducks organization? There hasn’t really been a player on the team over the last two seasons who has been able to bring creativity, passion, and determination to the ice that is parallel to that of Rickard Rakell.

He has always been flashy, brilliant, and confident, but he has been asked to be a fixture on a team that is struggling to find its identity. It can’t be easy to maintain the level of production he once achieved on a team that hasn’t been able to find a solution to their problems.

The Anaheim Ducks need to focus on building something for the future. Something that Bob Murray has half-heartedly begun to realize over the last two years. But, with all that Rickard Rakell has to offer, remaining with the team that drafted him is only holding him back.

Imagine what he could achieve on a team with the likes of David Pastrnak, Auston Matthews, or even Connor McDavid. With a team that is ready to embrace his talent, instead of hindering it, Rakell could finally become the player we’ve known he was all along.

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