This season, Ty Rattie is leading the pack of another threesome of intriguing draft prospects playing in Oregon for the 'Hawks. Swiss winger Sven Bartschi is playing well, and if you're looking for a sleeper who could end up getting picked a lot earlier than most conventional draft discussions will have him, think about defenseman Joe Morrow, who's a capable puck-mover with some upside. Rattie, however, is the pick of the three-- he's showing off the kind of offensive lethality that saw him picked high in the WHL Bantam draft.
With 11 goals and 30 points in just 17 games, Rattie is third in WHL scoring behind B's prospect Craig Cunningham (37) and tied with Cunningham's Vancouver Giants teammate Brendan Gallagher (30 points).
Rattie is listed at six-feet even, which means he's not quite there. And, at 170 pounds, he's still pretty slight with some filling out to do. He's not an explosive skater, but he's not a poor one either. He's more slick and elusive than dynamic, but he's very, very good on his edges. Rattie has sick hands and can stickhandle through traffic and turn defenders inside out with his shifty moves and head fakes.
I talked to one NHL scout recently who wasn't on the Rattie bandwagon last year when he was a rookie and scored 17 goals and 37 points in 61 games for Portland. He said that the youngster's game has matured considerably this season.
"Last year he spent a lot of time doing those flashy little bantam moves that just don't work at this level," the scout said. "I'm seeing him be a lot more creative and smart with the puck this year. Now, he's keeping things relatively simple, but playing a responsible game that isn't going to open himself up for bad turnovers or cost his team."
That maturation process will likely see Rattie secure a solid first-round billing come June, especially if he can keep pace and possibly even secure the WHL scoring crown. While not a guarantor of NHL success (see Zach Hamill), winning the WHL scoring race would most certainly boost Rattie's draft stock.
"He's a natural point producer; very skilled and creative," said the scout. "I've been pretty impressed with what I've seen so far. We're looking at a more complete player from what he was as a rookie."
Rattie is a right wing from Alberta and people still talk about his offensive wizardry in bantam before he left his home province for the USA and Dub.
Here's betting that the folks in Portland will be talking about him when he's moved on from there as well.
Rattie's Game 7 OT goal to complete 3-1 series comeback against Spokane last spring