Usually we get a swap between Oklahoma City and Stockton that is position for position. Instead, today we get a defensive player up and an offensive player down. This morning the Barons welcomed Nathan Deck via a PTO to likely cover as the seventh defender (Dan Ringwald in cast and sling this morning at practice). But the Barons make another move, in the form of Toni Rajala heading back to Stockton.
Rajala has been entertaining to watch while in Oklahoma City, but he’ll return to a Stockton team where he was the bees knees. He’s also on an ECHL scoring streak that continues when he returns to the team. In five games with OKC he’s netted a goal and earned an assist. But even more importantly, he’s emerged as a really creative forward. Not quite as mesmerizing as Linus Omark, but headed that direction. Coaching staff, fans, and media members have welcomed his artistic flaunts. I know that I’ll miss him.
He’ll be back, so keep an eye on him in the ECHL. Meanwhile, one third of the “Stockton Strong” line stays put in Oklahoma City. Philippe Cornet remains, while Eric Hunter and Toni Rajala reunite in Stockton.
The Edmonton Oilers assigned forward Toni Rajala to the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL, General Manager Bill Scott announced today.
Rajala, a 5-9, 170-pounder from Tampere, Finland was assigned to Oklahoma City on November 20. He appeared in five games with the Barons, scoring a goal and an assist.
He has played the majority of the season in Stockton. He leads Stockton in scoring with 23 points (11-12-23), while his goal, assist and point totals put him in the top 5 in each category in the ECHL among first-year players. Rajala was the Oilers 4th round selection (101st overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.