23-Year-Old Center – Anaheim Ducks
Rickard Rakell Contract Information:
Signed a three-year deal with the Ducks in July of 2012.
Rakell was extended a qualifying offer from the Ducks on Monday, Dhiren Mahiban of the New York Times reports.
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Rickard Rakell: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
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.