How far will the Rangers get this season?

Possible First Round Pick: Rickard Rakell

Rickard Rakell (Via

Rickard Rakell (Via

The Rangers currently have five defensemen under the age of 28 on their roster and two more top prospects on the way, so it’s very likely New York will be looking to add some offensive firepower with its first-round pick, No. 15 overall in the NHL Draft.

Between now and June 24th, we’ll take a look at some of the forwards that the Rangers might be thinking about taking on draft day.  Today, we look at…

Rickard Rakell

HT: 6-0

WT: 191

Pos: RW

Shoots: R

Birthday: 5/5/93

Team: Plymouth, OHL

2009-2010 stats: 12g, 4a, 18gp, 8PIM (AIK, Mid.)

2010-2011 stats: 19g, 24a, 49gp, 12 PIM, +14

2010-2011 playoffs: 0g, 0a, 1gp profile > 



The Hockey News: 25

CSS: 30 Midterm Rank: 34


TSN: 32 Midterm Rank: 20 

TSN (Craig Button): 24

The Scouting Report: 45 Midterm Rank: 41 

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch: 37

Corey Pronman: 66

ESPN: 41


Highlight Reel > N/A


What They’re Saying:

THN – “For an import, Rickard Rakell didn’t waste any time finding his voice in Plymouth.  Though he has traditionally been a right winger, Rakell approached the Whalers coaching staff around Christmas and asked to play center, fully aware of the extra responsibility the position entails.  Playing with fellow draft-eligibles Stefan Noesen and Garrett Meurs, Rakell helmed a very effective line.  ‘He’s a guy who works very hard on both sides of the puck,’ said one scout.  ‘He’s very effective on the forecheck and he makes things happen on the attack.’  Rakell also impressed at the world juniors in Buffalo, playing a physical forechecking role for the Swedes and chipping in offensively.  ‘He started out in a secondary role and worked his way up,’ the scout said.  Agile and evasive, Rakell can improve on his speed, but his skating is not a concern.”

The Scouting Report – "Rakell is the type of players that coaches love to have, but just lacks that offensive punch that would justify him going too much higher. He will strike you as being a very smart, almost methodical player who appears to think the game one step ahead of everyone else. He’s a very good player on the forecheck and does a great job anticipating the play and disrupting passing lanes. Very good defensive player who can play against any trio the opposition throws out and won’t be liability in doing so. His offensive upside is the only real question right now, as he doesn’t quite have the skills and offensive instincts to be a major offensive threat."

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch – "We really dug this kid at the World Jr. Championship in December, when he had to step up after the loss of Gabriel Landeskog against Norway. Rakell was terrific in the preliminary round shutout against eventual champion Russia by being active, abrasive and opportunistic on every shift. He may not have excellent size or strength, but he plays bigger than his 6-foot frame and gets up under bigger, stronger guys. Tenacious on the forecheck and smart- forces turnovers and keeps his feet moving. Doesn't have elite breakaway speed, but is quick and elusive. Rakell also plays a pretty disciplined style- he can get under opponents' skin, but doesn't take a lot of penalties himself, often smirking at the other guy as he heads off to the box. He's diligent in his work along the boards and will take the puck into traffic and distributes pretty well. His upside is a bit of a question mark right now, however. He scored 19 goals and 43 points in 49 games with the Whalers, missing the end of the season and part of the playoffs with a lower body injury. Intelligent and energetic, he does show flashes of some offensive potential, but may have to make his living on the bottom two lines."

Corey Pronman – “Swedes coming over to the play in the CHL pre-draft have been a rarity, but aside from Landeskog, another talented Swedish forward came to the OHL in the form of the power winger Rickard Rakell. He's a solid skater who moves pretty fluidly and has an admirable motor to his game that sees him zoom up and down the ice. He's got below-average puck skills, but he does in fact flash beyond that level at times showing a tick above 50 in regards to passing and stick-handling, but other times he fumbles basic passes and shows no basic ability to create. He isn't going to score from mid-distances, rather using his well filled out frame and good battling technique to get goals from the high percentage areas. Rakell also shows equally good physical work along the walls. The defensive game is decent, and he does show notable work ethic on the back-check and fine positioning on the penalty kill. There's not a lot of upside here, but the frame, lower body strength, skating and intangibles point to a moderately projectable player.”

ESPN – “Rakell’s upside might top out at third-line but some scouts might think he has a chance to develop into a second-liner at the next level. His work ethic might be the best part of his game and that’s not a bad thing.” 


Mock Drafts:

Adam Kimelman, – N/A 

Mike Morreale, – 24 

Steven Hoffner, – N/A 

Deven Persaud, - N/A – 26 

Gary Joyce, ESPN – N/A 

Mark Seidel, CBC – N/A 

Hockey's Future - N/A

The Hockey News - N/A


Thoughts: By all accounts, Rakell did a nice job adapting to the North American game this year after coming over from Sweden.  He even switched from wing to center part-way through the season and thrived in his new role.  Those are both marks of a mature hockey player, but Rakell’s offensive upside appears to be limited.  In the first round, he’d be a huge reach, but in the second round he might be a steal.  The Rangers need to take a shot on a game-breaker, so Rakell may not fit the bill.

The Rangers already have Henrik Lundqvist from Sweden and Carl Hagelin may make the team next season.  They have taken a bunch of players from the OHL in recent years and last used a first-round pick on one in 2008 when they chose Michael Del Zotto.


Season Review:

Breaking Down The Defense >

Breaking Down The Goalies >

Breaking Down The Offense >

Breaking Down The Prospects >

How Three Free Agent Signings In 2007 Have Shaped The Eastern Conference >

Spotlight On Glen Sather >

Spotlight On John Tortorella >


Player Reviews:

Spotlight On Mats Zuccarello >

Spotlight On Brian Boyle >

Spotlight On Matt Gilroy >

Spotlight On Ruslan Fedotenko >

Spotlight On Brandon Prust >

Spotlight On Bryan McCabe >

Spotlight On Alex Frolov >

Spotlight On Michael Del Zotto >

Spotlight On Martin Biron >

Spotlight On Brandon Dubinsky >

Spotlight On Marc Staal >

Spotlight On Steve Eminger >

Spotlight On Henrik Lundqvist >

Spotlight On Wojtek Wolski >

Spotlight On Sean Avery >

Spotlight On Dan Girardi >

Spotlight On Erik Christensen >


Possible First Round Pick:

Zack Phillips >

Sven Bartschi >

Mark Scheifele >

Mika Zibanejad > 

Mark McNeill >

Brandon Saad >

Joel Armia >

Nicklas Jensen >

Alexander Khokhlachev >

Tyler Biggs >

Matt Puempel >

Rickard Rakell >



Posted by Kevin Baumer | May 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm

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New York Rangers VS Chicago Blackhawks
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