Tuesday, May 31, 2011

E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120: Rickard Rakell #46

By Eldon MacDonald

46. Rickard Rakell - “Mr. Unpredictable” - RW - Sweden

Vitals: Size - 6’1”, 191 lb.; Shoots right; born: 5-May-93 - Sollentuna, Sweden
Team: Plymouth, OHL
2010-11 Stats: 49-19-24-43-12-(+14) + OHL playoffs - 1-0-0-0-0-(+0) + U 18 5-0-3-3-2-(-3)

24 - Craig Button's Top 30 of 8-Jun-11
25 - The Hockey News per TSN
32 - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts
35 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (30th North American skater)
37 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
39 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
40 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
41 - ISS per TSN
42 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
45 - The Scouting Report's Top 100 Skaters
46 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
66 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
Draft result:
30 - Anaheim Ducks

So, who is the real Richard Rakell??? A lot of people came away impressed by his performance at the U20’s where Richard put on a gutsy performance for Team Sweden, establishing himself as a solid two-way player, an energetic, diligent forechecker who always keeps his feet moving and is involved in the play. He also skated very well, had a great shot and proved an effective passer. However, back in the OHL at Plymouth, Richard did not put up the numbers that would be expected of a player possessing the multitude of talents that he possesses. In fact, his output really petered out after he returned from the U20’s and then he injured his ankle and barely played after that.

So, Richard possesses first round skills and third round results. Usually such a match is accompanied by a lack of hockey sense, why else would the skills not produce results. Or, did Richard just run out of gas with the longer OHL schedule. I am not sure of the answers as it did not appear in the games that I saw Richard that he lacked hockey sense. The team drafting him will need to have a better grasp of the answers to put a proper valuation on him for June. Bob MacKenzie’s January poll of NHL scouts had him 20th overall which is a pretty good indication that more than I believe that this guy has first round skills. However, his lack of performance since January combined with some good performances from other potential draftees likely will shove Richard down into the second round - how far is an open question.


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