After spending a big portion of last season as Anaheim’s second line center, Rickard Rakell has turned into somewhat of a utility player for the Ducks so far this season, notes Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register. At times early on this season, Rakell has been deployed on a two-way third line alongside Antoine Vermette while at others, he has been moved up with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf on the top trio. Head coach Randy Carlyle hasn’t hesitated to move Rakell in and out of each situation midway through games either, depending on the situation.
It’s safe to say that shifting back and forth hasn’t negatively affected the 23 year old who signed a six year, $22.8MM deal last month. Through ten games so far this season, he has six goals and four assists while averaging over 17 minutes of playing time per night. It’s safe to suggest that the Ducks won’t be back in his old second line center role anytime soon.
[Related: Ducks Depth Chart]
More from the Pacific Division:
- San Jose center Tomas Hertl will be out indefinitely with a right knee sprain, reports CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz. Hertl is set to undergo a minor procedure later today and no timetable has been set for his return. This is already the third time in his career that he has had to deal with a right knee problem, including back in the Stanley Cup Final, an issue that also kept him out of the World Cup of Hockey. As we noted yesterday, center Danny O’Regan was recalled to take Hertl’s spot on the roster.
- Although Vancouver left winger Alex Burrows is a prime candidate to be a rental player for another team between now and the trade deadline, he hasn’t given much thought to the possibility of being moved yet, writes Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province. He has a cap hit of $4.5MM which would suggest that any possible move will be later rather than sooner. However, with a full no-trade clause, Burrows can control his own destiny when it comes to the trade market. Kuzma suggests that the Canadiens and Rangers would be two teams that would have an interest in the 35 year old, who has five points in 15 games so far this season.