Id argue he was a guy who peaked (at least in the eyes of scouts) too early. He was a Top 10-15 guy going into his draft year, but his size and complete lack of physical play scared teams away.
He may be blocked in Edmonton though, they got a lot of skilled guys in the wing, and Im not sure Rajala is fit for the bottom two lines.
I don't think he ever was a 10 to 15 guy. Maybe on these boards. People or fans got excited because he put up numbers at the under 17s and just decided he was the next big thing. Toni is like a lot of small guys that excel offensively at a young age, you wonder if they can do it when they have to play against pros. It took a bit and maybe getting a bit of his confidence back after going back home and being told he had wasted his talent playing in the WHL for a year. He looks like a solid AHLer who can produce at that level. Now the next step will be waiting for that call up to see if he can translate it at the NHL level.
Rajala now has 8 points in 5 AHL playoff games. Could someone who has been able to watch the games tell me how he's looked? I am really happy for the kid he has been called a bust by everyone but he's showing everyone what he is capable of doing
Toni has surprised almost everyone in Finland with his great AHL season overall. He was quite close to come back to Europe after a disappointment caused by starting the season in ECHL. Maybe this worked in a positive way and brought extra energy to show everyone that he is still a good prospect.
Toni has been very productive and if this continues next season, he must get his chance in the NHL. However, there is still a long way from top lines in AHL to top lines in NHL. Toni brings no added value to checking lines, so he needs to get PP time etc.