Rajala Joins All-Star Class
Edmonton Oilers draftee joins Nathan Deck scheduled to represent Thunder
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 Thunder right wing Toni Rajala (Righ-ALL-ah, TOH-nee) has been selected for the 2013 ECHL All-Star Game presented by University of Colorado Health, hosted by the Colorado Eagles.
Rajala joins defenseman Nathan Deck (named to the starting lineup but currently skating with the Oklahoma City Barons in the American Hockey League) as two players selected to represent the Thunder at the game on Jan. 23.
Rajala, 21, leads the Thunder and is tied for fourth in the ECHL with 18 goals. His 36 points in 27 games also leads the Thunder in scoring and is tied for ninth in the league.
The 5-foot-10 and 163 pound forward also paces the Thunder with three game winning goals, along with 15 points and 10 assists on the power play.
He led Ilves Tampere in Finland with 16 goals and ranked second with 29 points in 51 games last season. He was selected by the Oilers in the fourth round (101st overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and has skated for Finland in the World Junior Championships, managing 10 points in 18 career games (under-20 team).
Rajala also suited up for Finland’s under-18 team and scored 24 points (13g-11a) in 12 career games. He broke Alexander Ovechkin’s scoring record and led the 2008-09 tournament with 19 points (10g-6a) in six games, earning the Best Forward and All-Star Team honors.
The 2013 ECHL All-Star Week, presented by CCM, begins on Tuesday, Jan. 22 with the ECHL All-Star Skills Competition, presented by OtterBox, and continues with the ECHL All-Star Game on Wednesday, Jan. 23. Both events begin at 7:05 p.m. MT at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo.
More than 50 players from the ECHL All-Star Game have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 39 since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.
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.