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NHL - US Sports: Rakell has Penguins belief

General Manager Ron Hextall believes the Pittsburgh Penguins are a better team following the acquisition of forward Rickard Rakell from the Anaheim Ducks.

The Penguins, 14/1 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, acquired the 28-year-old on the NHL deadline day on Monday in exchange for forwards Zach Aston-Reese, Dominik Simon and a second-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.

Impessive stats with Ducks

Rakell has finished in the to three for scoring on the Ducks in each of the past four seasons, and in the current campaign has 28 points (16 goals, 12 assists) in 51 games.

The 6'1" winger was originally selected in the first-round (30th overall) of the 2011 draft by the Ducks and since has iced 550 regular season games with 339 points (154 goals, 185 assists).

In the playoffs Rakell has contributed 19 points (11 goals, eight assists) in 46 appearances.

Anaheim had hoped to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in three seasons, however after losing seven in a row, they have begun to look to the future by moving on Rakell who was in the final season of a six-year contract.

To help aid the move, Anaheim will retain 35 per-cent of Rakell's salary.

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Playoffs in prospect

With the Penguins second in the Metropolitan Division (39-16-9), they look set to qualify for the playoffs for a 16th consecutive season, giving Rakell opportunity to help them win the cup for the first time since their back-to-back success of 2016 and 2017. 

Hextall said to the media: "We like his skill set. He plays with speed. He plays a fast game. So, we feel like he's going to fit in real good here.

"Again, it's hard to score in this league, so when you add a player of Rickard's resume, put him with our players, we feel like we're a better team."

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