Whalers Rickard Rakell Signs With Anaheim Ducks
PLYMOUTH - Although the Plymouth Whalers are not in action on the ice right now, there's plenty happening with the players:
ANAHEIM DUCKS SIGN RICKARD RAKELL: Rakell was selected by Anaheim in the first round (30th overall) of the 2011 National Hockey Entry Draft. Even though the Ducks didn't have to sign him until the end of next season, they decided to get the deal done now.
Here's the release from Anaheim:
ANAHEIM - The Ducks have signed right wing Rickard Rakell to a three-year entry-level contract. Per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Rakell, 19 (5/5/93), won a gold medal with his native Sweden at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship, scoring 2-3=5 points in six tournament contests. In 60 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) appearances with the Plymouth Whalers last season, Rakell earned 28-34=62 points with 12 penalty minutes (PIM) and a +9 rating. Among team leaders, the 6-2, 194-pound winger ranked fourth in points. He also added 2-10=12 points in 13 OHL postseason contests, leading the club in assists while ranking third in points.
"Anaheim is great," Rakell said during Conditioning Camp at The Rinks - Anaheim ICE. "Seeing the organization take care of everyone around here. I feel so happy to be here and looking forward to hopefully a lot of years here."
In 2010-11, Rakell collected 19-24=43 points with a +14 rating and 12 PIM in 49 games with Plymouth. Leading the team with 10 power play goals, Rakell also ranked third in points-per-game (.92) and tied for fifth in goals and plus/minus. He completed the 2010-11 season ranked 11th among OHL rookies in scoring. He netted his first career OHL hat trick to lead Plymouth to an 8-2 victory on Jan. 15 vs. Sarnia.
Selected 30th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Rakell was the youngest player to compete for Team Sweden at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, NY. The Sundbyberg, Sweden native posted 0-3=3 points with two PIM in the tournament.
Rakell joins teammates Stefan Noesen (Ottawa) and JT Miller (NY Rangers) as first round picks who play for the Whalers and have been signed by their respective NHL teams.
WHALERS CODY PAYNE MAKING A POSITIVE IMPRESSION IN BOSTON: Cody Payne's first trip to the Boston Bruins' Developmental Camp was an eye-opener for all involved. Taken in the fifth round (145th overall) in the recent 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Payne made a positive impression as he prepares to return to the Whalers in 2012-13.
“[Payne] didn’t have a lot of ice time this year, but we were fortunate enough to catch him when his teammates were gone to the World Juniors,” Boston Director of Ameteur Scouting Wayne Smith said after the Draft in Pittsburgh. “[We] saw him play in a top two-line role, and he’s as tough as they come.
“There’s no question he can fight… and he showed us that there’s potential for him to be a National Hockey League player.”
Bob Mand of the Hockey Writers.com covered the Bruins Development and also wrote about Payne:
With their second fifth-round selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft the Boston Bruins selected Plymouth Whalers’ winger, Cody Payne. One of the more eye-opening competitors at the Boston Bruins 2012 Development Camp, this young forward has impressed with his drive and compete-level.
In his time in the OHL, Payne hasn’t found the numbers one might expect from a pick – even a late one, but his physical game – including some pugilistic prowess – is certainly noteworthy. It’s an aspect of hockey that Payne certainly relishes and it’s one of the things we spoke about after Sunday’s scrimmage.
Cody said that he embraces defending his teammates. If he saw a teammate get hit from behind – you can bet those gloves would be off lickety-split.
WHALERS ALEX ALEARDI GOES TO COLUMBUS; ANDY BATHGATE TO NEW YORK: Plymouth veterans Alex Aleardi and Andy Bathgate are proof that you don't have to get selected in the NHL Entry Draft to get attention. Aleardi is spending this week as an undrafted free agent at the Columbus Blue Jackets' Developmental Camp.
AUDIO - MR. WILSON GOES TO CALGARY: Whalers right wing Tom Wilson chatted on Sportsnet Radio 960 in Calgary a few days before the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.