In a series of tweets Wednesday evening, Bob McKenzie shed some light on the status of restricted free agent Rickard Rakell. Still unsigned, Rakell has been rehabbing from appendectomy surgery performed in September, and is still unable to skate or work out, though he’s expected to get back on the ice in another week.
While the young forward is rehabbing, McKenzie reports that there is an ongoing dialogue between his camp and the Ducks; a promising sign to be sure. From the player side, a contract like the one Victor Rask of Carolina received, $4MM per season for six years, is a starting point though Anaheim does not want to commit that much money to a player who has only 165 games under his belt.
Last season was a breakout for the Swedish centerman, as he increased his goal total from nine to twenty, and estabilished himself as a legitimate top-six player. While Anaheim doesn’t have any interest in a bridge deal, McKenzie speculates that a six-year deal paying Rakell under $4MM per season is what it will ultimately come down to.
If Anaheim can get him for that much, it would be quite beneficial to both sides. The Ducks would have their young second-line center locked up long term for a reasonable hit, and would be ecstatic if he developed into the 60+ point player his potential shows. Rakell, on the other hand, would guarantee himself a big paycheck even if 2015-16 was a career high in goals.
Rakell was never the biggest scorer in junior (though he did have very solid numbers), and he was thought of coming into the draft as a respectable player at all facets. At 23, if he can solidify himself as a perennial 20-25 goal man, he’d hit the open market at 29 with the chance for another big contract.