TOLEDO, OH – All offseason Toledo has been speculating on whether or not a fan favorite would be lacing up the skates for 2017-18. Friday, the fans, and organization got the answer, Walleye forward Evan Rankin has announced his retirement.
Rankin’s professional career began in 2008 with the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees of the Central Hockey League, where he played 64 games, scoring 28 goals, and racking up 51 points. The following season was when the former Fighting Irish forward first joined the Toledo Walleye, and between 2009 and 2012, played in 143 games for Toledo. During the first go around with the team, Evan lit the lamp 65 times and racked up 65 assists. The forward’s high skill and great skating earned him a promotion to the Rochester Americans of the AHL early in the 2011-12 season, causing his first exit from Toledo.
Between 2011 to the end of the 2015 regular season, Rankin played for the Rochester Americans and the Syracuse Crunch. Only once was he able to skate in the Calder Cup Playoffs during this run, when the Americans made the postseason after the 2011-12 campaign. Rankin had one assist in two playoff games.
Rankin would leave the American Hockey League after the 2014-15 season and return to Toledo.
Once October 2015 came around, Rankin continued his torrid pace in the ECHL. It didn’t take long for Evan to get another call-up, however, as he spent time with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, St. John’s IceCaps, and Utica Comets throughout the year (24, 3, and 3 games respectively). Ultimately, he would return to Toledo for the 2016 playoffs, but it was a short run, as the Walleye were dismissed by Reading in seven games in the opening round.
Last season Rankin spent the entire year with Toledo, the first time in his career, and tied Simon Denis for fourth highest scorer on the team with 55 points. In what turned out to be his last playoff run, Evan skated in 17 games, scored 8 goals, and totaled 14 points before Toledo was eliminated by the eventual Kelly Cup Champion Colorado Eagles.
Rankin walks away from his playing career with a total of 523 games played, 195 goals scored, and 185 assists for a grand total of 380 points scored. Of those 195 goals scored, 111 of them were in a Walleye uniform, which makes Rankin the franchise leader in that category. With this announcement, Toledo still has one remaining spot for a veteran to join the club, and it very well could go to Kyle Bonis now. Before we see who fills that spot though, we offer congratulations to Evan Rankin for a fantastic career!