The Ducks selected Rickard Rakell, a Swedish-born forward from the Ontario Hockey League, with their lone first-round draft pick Friday after trading down to No. 30.
The Ducks also acquired the 30th and the 39th overall picks from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for the 22nd overall pick.
“He’s very intelligent and he plays more of a North American
game than a European game,” Ducks general manager Bob Murray said. “He’s a good
two-way player and a smart player. He can play center or wing. We’re very happy
he was still there at 30.”
Rakell had 19 goals, 43 points and 12 penalty minutes in 49
games for the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League last season, his
first in North America. The 18-year-old played for Sweden at the World Junior
Championships and had three assists in five games at the tournament in Buffalo,
“I had a lot of meetings at the combine and they went really
well, especially with the Ducks,” Rakell told reporters in Minnesota.
Listed at 6-foot-1, 193 pounds, Rickard is “two or three
years” away from the NHL according to NHL Central Scouting’s Al Jensen.
Murray also said that he hasn’t received a decision from
star right wing Teemu Selanne, who is contemplating retirement.
“His knee acted up a little bit. Doctors looked at it,”
Murray said. “I think he wants to play hockey again. We’re just trying to see
how the knee goes.”