Wood: Rickard Rakell Is The Future Of The Anaheim Ducks

The 24-year-old leads the team in goals and points

Ferrall On The Bench
March 21, 2018 - 8:36 am

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The Anaheim Ducks (37-24-12) have won three games in a row, none more impressive than their 4-2 win over New Jersey on Sunday.

“That might have been top to bottom the best game the Ducks have played all season,” Ducks radio color analyst Dan Wood said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Though they won the game only 4-2, they seemed to control it from start to finish. The Devils were playing a second night after having played in L.A. the day before, but the Ducks are building, and that game was the prototype hockey game the Ducks want to play.”

Rickard Rakell had a goal and an assist for Anaheim and leads the team in goals (31) and points (62). The 24-year-old has been one of the most productive young players in hockey – and Wood saw it coming.

“Honestly, I did,” he said. “Rickard scored 33 goals last season. I think he's become a more complete player this year. He also has 31 assists to go with those 31 goals. In the past, he was more of a Cy Young type guy – a lot of goals, not so many assists. But he’s really rounded out his game, I think, both on the offensive end and he’s become a better defensive player. Rickard Rakell is the future of the Anaheim Ducks because (Ryan) Getzlaf, (Corey) Perry, (Ryan) Kessler – those guys aren’t going to be around forever. I think down the road, Rickard Rakell is going to be the leader up front.”

The Ducks play their next four games in Canada, beginning with a game against Calgary on Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. ET. After trips to Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver, the Ducks return home for games against Los Angeles, Colorado, Minnesota, and Dallas.

It’s a manageable end-of-season schedule.

“The Ducks have lost a number of games to inferior teams, so nothing is a given,” Wood said. “But this road trip looks manageable. That last home stand with those four teams, they’re all fighting for their playoff lives, so it’s not going to be easy. The Ducks have been really good at home since New Year’s. So everything seems to be lined up for the Ducks to do their thing, get into the Stanley Cup playoffs, and if they do, most people think they’re going to be a dangerous team to deal with. But they still have to do it on the ice. It doesn’t matter what’s on paper.”