Oklahoma City Barons notebook: Toni Rajala playing well since promotion

Rajala was the Edmonton Oilers' fourth-round pick four years ago. He is playing in the U.S. for the first time after spending the previous three years in Finland.
by Michael Baldwin Published: January 18, 2013
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Factoring in both Barons goals in a 4-2 loss to San Antonio on Friday night, rookie right winger Toni Rajala is showing why he was selected to the ECHL All-Star Game.

Rajala, a 21-year-old forward from Finland, probably won't play in the Double-A event now that he's one of Oklahoma City's core players.

“He's played well since he came back his second stint,” said Oklahoma City coach Todd Nelson. “He's fun to watch. He does a lot of creative things. He finished (well) on his goal tonight. He had other chances. He hit the post. He's one of our skilled players.”

Edmonton's fourth-round pick four years ago, Rajala is playing in the United States for the first time after playing three years in Finland's pro league. With Stockton, Rajala scored 38 points in 29 games, including 18 goals.

His goal Friday was his third in nine games with OKC.

(Anton) Lander had a good forecheck,” Rajala said. “I just waited in front of the net. (Kristians) Pelss threw it in front of the net. It came to me and it was almost a wide open net.”


by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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