The Ducks selected Swedish winger Rickard Rakell
with the 30th selection of the NHL Entry Draft, held tonight in St. Paul, Minnesota. Anaheim, which was originally slated to select 22nd in the draft, traded that pick to Toronto for the 30th and 39th selections.
The 6-0, 191-pound Rakell (Stockholm) played last year for Plymouth of the OHL and led all team rookies in scoring in 2010-11, tallying 19 goals in 49 games in his first season in the league.
The 18-year-old Rakell was the youngest player to compete for Team Sweden (at 17) at the 2011 World Junior Championships, recording three assists helping Sweden finish fourth.
Rakell credits his parents and brother for having the biggest influence on his career: “My parents have always given me the support I needed and I have always looked up to my older brother, always competing with him.”
His childhood hockey idol was Mats Sundin because he grew up in the same village (Viby).
NHL Central Scouting's Al Jensen on Rakell:
"He's a good energy guy with a good work ethic and hustle. He forechecks hard, he bangs and is very responsible defensively. I really like his upside. He's one of those guys who the coach can throw out there and know what you're going to get. He has great balance and good skills and is physical. I can see him having an impact in the (NHL) two or three years down the road."
Ducks Executive Vice President Bob Murray on trading down and taking Rakell with the 30th pick:
"We made the decision to trade down because we had a line drawn at a certain spot, where if everyone was gone by that spot, you have an opportunity to get a second round pick and you try that."
"We were doing well and then all of a sudden, three out of the four guys we wanted to take were taken right in a row before us. Toronto had come along and so did two other teams. Toronto had the highest second round pick, so we went with that."
"You had a next grouping of guys and Rakell was in that group. I saw him at the World Junior a whole bunch. He was a 17-year-old in the World Juniors and he did a good job there. He’s a good two-way player and a smart hockey player, and he can play center or wing. We’re very happy he was still there at 30."
"He’s very intelligent and he plays more of a North American game than a European game. I’m very happy about the pick."