After surgery, a contract dispute and visa issues, Rickard Rakell is finally ready to make his season debut tonight when the Ducks take on the Kings in the latest installment of the Freeway Faceoff.
“I think I’m ready to go,” Rakell said, per the Ducks website. “I’ve been skating hard with the coaches, so I feel conditioned. It’s more about timing because I haven’t played games in a while.”
In practice this week, Rakell centered the third line between Antoine Vermette and Chris Wagner, while also seeing second unit power-play time with Vermette, Jakob Silfverberg, Shea Theodore and Kevin Bieksa.
So it certainly looks like he’s ready to go.
The Ducks will certainly welcome it.
Signed to a six-year, $22.8 million extension two weeks ago, the 23-year-old should give his club a bump offensively. Rakell finished fourth on the Ducks in scoring last year, with 20 goals and 43 points, and led the team in game-winning markers.
Tonight’s game will mark the first matchup of the season between the Kings and Ducks, who have established a pretty healthy rivalry over the last few years. For what it’s worth, Rakell finished with a goal and an assist in four games against L.A. last year.