Forward earns ECHL Player of the Week honor on same day of recall from Thunder to AHL
STOCKTON, Calif. –
STOCKTON, Calif. –The Stockton Thunder, proud ECHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League, announced in conjunction with the ECHL that right wing Toni Rajala has been named Sher-Wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week for Nov. 12-18.
Rajala, who was recalled this morning by the Edmonton Oilers to Oklahoma City (AHL), scored five goals and totaled 11 points in four games to help the Thunder improve to 10-3-1 and earn the top win percentage (.750) in the ECHL this season.
He tied a Thunder record with five points (1g-4a) in a 9-6 win at Utah last Monday and added a goal in a 4-2 loss at Idaho on Wednesday. His three point effort helped the Thunder defeat Utah 6-2 on Friday at Stockton Arena and he followed up with a pair of goals in Sunday’s 4-3 Thunder victory over Idaho.
Rajala, 21, is on an ECHL season high 11 game scoring streak (11g-12a) which dates back to Oct. 20.
THUNDER ALL-TIME ECHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK SELECTIONS
Player – Date Awarded
1. Joel Irwin – March 14, 2006
2. Mathieu Melanson – March 13, 2007
3. Brock Radunske – March 27, 2007
4. Cory Urquhart – January 14, 2009
5. Mike Lalonde – January 23, 2009
6. Matt Robinson – December 15, 2009
7. Bretton Cameron – January 18, 2011
8. Steve Vanoosten – March 29, 2011
9. Chris Doyle – February 7, 2012
10. Toni Rajala – November 20, 2012
The 5-foot-10 and 163 pound forward was selected by Edmonton in the fourth round (101st overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and is tied for the ECHL lead with 11 goals. His 23 points in 14 games ranks fourth in the league.
The native of Parkano, Finland led Ilves Tampere in Finland (SM-liiga) with 16 goals and ranked second with 29 points in 51 games last season. He has skated for Finland in the World Junior Championships, managing 10 points in 18 career games (under-20 team).
On behalf of Rajala, a case of pucks will be donated to a Stockton youth hockey organization by Sher-Wood Hockey, the exclusive puck supplier of the ECHL. Since beginning its sponsorship of the award in 2000-01, Sher-Wood Hockey has donated more than 27,000 pucks to youth hockey organizations in ECHL cities.
Runners Up: Mathieu Roy, Florida (3 gp, 2g, 4a, 6 pts.), Olivier Fortier, Orlando (2 gp, 4g, 1a, 5 pts.) and Denny Urban, Reading (3 gp, 2g, 4a, 6 pts.).
The Thunder returns to play on Friday against Bakersfield, starting at 7:30 p.m. (1280 KWSX/StocktonThunder.com) at Stockton Arena.
A two time recipient of the ECHL “Award of Excellence,” the Thunder led the ECHL in attendance for four consecutive seasons and drew over 200,000 fans for the seventh consecutive season in 2011-12. Season Tickets, Group Tickets and Mini-Plans for 2012-13 are on sale now. For more information about tickets, merchandise, or other inquiries contact the Stockton Thunder offices at (209) 373-1500 or visit www.StocktonThunder.com.