The Anaheim Ducks have shed a little light on the World Cup situation for forward Rickard Rakell. He remained behind in Sweden as the team flew to North America to continue training camp follow a couple of exhibition games against Team Finland. He has remained behind due to a stomach virus, reports Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register.
Stephens later added, “Hearing possibility that Rakell’s illness may be related to surgery at the end of March to remove [his] appendix.”
The 23-year-old Rakell — who remains an unsigned restricted free agent — was selected to Sweden’s World Cup of Hockey roster as a replacement for the injured Alexander Steen.
But he has been away from the team for days due to an unknown illness, which Stephens has clarified some. It’s not yet clear whether the team thinks he could recover in time to rejoin the team before the start of the tournament this coming weekend.
Each team has until 24 hours before the tournament opens to name injury (or, in this case, illness) replacements for their roster.
Rakell had a breakout season last year, not only scoring 20 goals and 43 points in 72 games but proving that he’s a versatile player capable of being useful in many situations.