23-Year-Old Center – Anaheim Ducks
Rickard Rakell Contract Information:
Signed a three-year deal with the Ducks in July of 2012.
Rakell was not on the ice for the start of training camp Friday as he continues to recover from abdominal surgery.
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Rickard Rakell: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Rakell made a splash in his first full NHL season, putting up nine goals and 31 points in 71 games. Despite averaging just 12:34 of ice time, the 22-year-old still managed two power-play tallies, 105 shots on goal, and a plus-6 rating. While the Ducks are crowded up front, especially with the offseason additions of Chris Stewart, Carl Hagelin and Shawn Horcoff, Rakell is a crafty scorer who hasn't reached his ceiling yet as a fantasy contributor. If he can stick on a line with quality linemates and see power-play time, Rakell is likely to take another step forward in 2015-16. The Swedish sniper is a former 28-goal scorer in the OHL and knows how to put the puck in the back of the net. While it’s unlikely he lands a top-six role next season, Rakell could find himself on fruitful ground as the third-line center behind Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler. Look for Rakell to see increased ice time this season and make a fair run at surpassing his 2014-15 point total.
The 21-year-old from Sweden saw increased playing time during his second NHL season and even contributed four assists in 18 games. He will look to secure a more regular role in 2014-15 and become a bigger factor as he enters the final year of his entry contract. His first NHL goal should come this year. And who knows -- he might even find himself in the role of third-line center by season's end.
Rakell was the Ducks' first-round pick -- 30th overall -- in 2010. He does have some latent offensive ability, but that's not the reason the Ducks snagged him. He plays a remarkably mature, two-way game for a teenager, and will be a dominating checker in the NHL. He'll kill penalties, smother the opposition's best sniper and play in each game's most critical moments. He won't arrive in the NHL until at least 2014, and when he does, he'll immediately focus on that checking role. The offense -- maybe even an accompanying 50-point season -- could come when he's 27 or 28.