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Photo Credit: Twitter.com/EdmontonOilers

Year in Review: Ty Rattie has the chance of a lifetime

This is one part of a player-by-player Year in Review series we’ll be doing over the next couple months as we look back on the 2017-18 Edmonton Oilers season. 

2017-18 Edmonton Oilers No. 8: Ty Rattie

GP: 14 – G: 5, A: 4, PTS: 9

Ty Rattie might have found himself the dream role. Like Patrick Maroon before him, Rattie, in a small sample size, seems to have found chemistry alongside the best hockey player in the world.

Rattie was drafted by the St. Louis Blues with the 32nd overall pick in the 2011 NHL draft. He’s scored at every single level he’s played at. In Bantam, he set the Alberta record for points in a season with an obscene 131 points in 33 games. After that, he scored 79 points in 67 games with the Portland Winterhawks in his draft year. He followed that up with 121- and 110-point seasons in the WHL. In three seasons in the AHL, Rattie managed 48, 42, and 46 points.

Despite showing success at each level, Rattie was never really given an extended chance at the NHL level. He played 26 games over three seasons with the Blues before getting placed on waivers prior to the 2016-17 season. The Carolina Hurricanes would snag him and give him five games before losing him back to the Blues on waivers a few weeks later.

Last summer, the Oilers inked Rattie to a one-year, two-way deal to serve as AHL depth for the organization. I can’t imagine that Rattie playing a significant role with the team was in anybody’s plans heading into the 2017-18 season. But once things went sideways and Maroon was dealt to the New Jersey Devils at the trade deadline, Rattie was given a shot with the big club — and he ran with it.

Rattie was plugged in on the right side of Connor McDavid. In 14 games, he scored five goals and nine points. Prior to that, he had only scored 10 points in 35 career NHL games. That’s a pace of 49 points over the course of a 49-game season.

The key, of course, was Rattie getting a chance with McDavid and instantly finding some chemistry with him. That said, I don’t think Rattie was just some scrub along for the ride with McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He looked like a weapon in the offensive zone and played a role in contributing to a very effective line. Eight of his nine points came at even strength and eight of the nine were either goals or primary assists.

It’s difficult to dig into Rattie’s numbers because the sample size is simply too small. He was only up for 14 games. We know that he was good with McDavid in the 158:57 they played together at even strength. Are we even going to try to draw conclusions about the 34:10 he played without McDavid? Of course not.

In order to analyze Rattie, we have to rely on the eye test and what he gave us during his 14-game stint. Obviously, there isn’t much there to draw from, but he was certainly good enough to warrant another contract and a crack on the team to start the season.

Rattie isn’t a perfect player. He isn’t the greatest skater, he isn’t good at all defensively, and he only really does one thing. Fortunately for him, that one thing he does do is incredibly important. He generates offence. He has smooth hands, a good shot, a nose for the net, and strong instincts in the offensive zone. McDavid can make most players look good simply because he’s talented enough to create out of nothing. But Rattie, for all his faults, can actually keep up with McDavid in the offensive zone. He has the instincts and offensive awareness to be in the right spots to help McDavid generate offence rather than just being the benefactor of McDavid’s playmaking.

You’ll see that in the video I embedded above. A player without offensive instincts probably would have taken that pass from McDavid and fired it on the net. Instead, Rattie slowed it down, had his head up, and sauced a nice pass to Nugent-Hopkins for an easy goal.

Given Edmonton’s cap situation, they have to find cheap players who can be plugged in alongside McDavid on the top line. If Rattie can play like he did during that 14-game stretch to end the season, the Oilers will get more than enough value out of their $800k investment. If not, then, well, he can be buried in the minors and we can go back to the drawing board.

  • WhoreableGuy

    Love it or hate it, there are certain players that can only play on the top line with great players. Rattie is one of those guys that it’s top line or bust. You can see with his numbers in the AHL getting first line minutes the guy produces and we all know about his time with Portland in the ‘Dub. I don’t think it’s a bad thing for a player like this, you’ve seen this team or other teams complain about getting players that can compliment your main guy.

    I ran into him in Airdrie a month after he signed that one year deal, nice guy, was open about wanting to be McDavid’s winger for the entire year. It would be a steal of a deal if he can stay on the top line for most of the season and produce like he did in his short time up.

    • BringJordanHome

      Yeah if Rattie can produce well on the 1st line it could possibly allow Puljujarvi or Yamamoto to move to the left side. I personally would really like to see what Yamamoto could do with McD and nuge but Rattie could at least get a shot on the 1rw till the day Yamamoto is ready

    • Craig1981

      If your are always on offence, his defence will be less of an issue (Plus RNH and McD are solid in their own zone). I think Conor Sheary was a good comparable. In 2016-17 he scored 53 points in 62 games playing about 90% of the EV time with Crosby. In 2017-18 playing time with Crosby dropped and his production went to 30 points in 79 games. His trade value to Buffalo also shows he wasn’t viewed as quality NHLer, yet put up <.85ppg alongside elite talent.

  • ubermiguel

    Rattie could be a real pro-scouting win if he keeps that up. Defence is his weakness, so I’d want to make sure Larsson is behind him most of the time. And if he’s got chemistry with Nuge and McDavid why not keep them together for the PP?

  • Hockeytalkguy

    The oil won’t be able to afford him after this season. I will be surprised if he DOESN’T lite it up with McDavid & Nuge. Seriously, I think he is a diamond in the rough. Just never got a chance with top players. I wish him well.

  • Bills Bills

    Rattie isn’t a perfect player. He isn’t the greatest skater, he isn’t good at all defensively, and he only really does one thing. Fortunately for him, that one thing he does do is incredibly important. He generates offence.

    Sounds like Eberle. The difference is obviously price point but just as important is what I have said before. If you are a 15 goal scorer, you better be 20+ with McDavid. If you’re a 25+ goal scorer, you better be 35+ playing with McDavid. So if you can find an AHL player that becomes a top line contributor with McDavid, that is exactly what you want. The important thing is if Rattie at some point determines he is worth a big pay day for being good with one player, you cash in on that value and trade him rather than pay him.

  • Bills Bills

    On a completely unrelated topic. Tonight on History Channel at 8pm Counting Cars, Danny at Count Kustoms will have a 1954 Divco milk truck on the show that was built by my friend Mitch Peacock at Jus Cuz Customs in Edmonton. If you want to see what kind of amazing custom work is coming out his shop, check it out. I am only plugging this because Mitch is an incredibly nice guy and super talented.

  • ROILYDoGG$

    Not the best skater … but yet can keep up with McDavid and put puck in the net ?
    Quite the opposing comment …

    The kid scores at every level he’s played but burried on a deep st Louis team, everyone needs a good look to get a feel not less than 30 games in 3 years. Let this kid play and see what he can do.

    • Kneedroptalbot

      Ty Rattie brings more to this team going forward, than Lucic and Kassian have left on their best days. No concern with Rattie scoring more than 22 pts as the Hockey News predicted for Kassian and Lucic. Rattie should be close to 45pts.

  • Oilman99

    Rattie has the highend skills to be the replacement for Eberle if he can continue to mesh with Connor. I would think he is busting his ass training this summer to ensure he can take full advantage of the opportunity given him.

  • FISTO Siltanen

    I’m definitely in the minority but if this team is open to anyone who fits with McDavid and Nuge and Rattie isn’t the answer – why not Kassian?

    Big. Skates well. Physical and will fight. Right shot. The line will be driven through #97 and #93 so you are looking for a complimentary piece.

    • Kneedroptalbot

      He does not have hockey smarts, does not know where to go or how to get open in tight quarters, between the face off dots. He does not take of make a pass well. Has difficulty taking a clean pass on defensive zone breakouts.
      A few reasons.

  • Moneyball

    So in his entire career he has played 49 NHL Games, generated 19 points. with limited minutes in most of the games. Essentially he wasn’t given that much of a chance until Edmonton picked him up. Looks like another good find by Chiarelli and his reconfigured scouting team. Compare the opportunities that Rattie has had compared to a player like Puljujarvi who has been gifted minutes and long looks on every line due to his draft position. Barring someone really breaking out in camp Rattie deserves to start on the first line this year.

    • daryl

      You really didn’t watch the Oilers last year did you JP didn’t get PP minutes was only on Conner’s line for a short time hell even Rattie got more minutes and every time JP made a mistake Todd benched him. This is what is wrong with Oilers fans we have a real gift in JP and Todd has handled him poorly and now everyone wants to bail on the kid jeez give him a real chance on a top line not 3rd line minutes.

      • Redbird62

        Your observations don’t match with what actually happened last year. Jesse played 256 minutes with Connor last season 5 on 5 (which is about 15 games worth), while Rattie only played 158 minutes. Defensively the team faired better with Connor/Jesse, but Connor/Ty outscored Connor/Jesse on a G/60 rate of 4.9 to 3.0. Granted, Ty got to play with Connor during his hot streak (which started before Ty showed up) and maybe Jesse had a lot of time with Connor when he was sick. Ty got more ice time per game on the PP during his short stint, but Jesse still got a total of 48 minutes on the PP or 45 seconds per game not a lot, but not nothing. But contrary to Moneyball’s view, I don’t think Jesse was gifted anything.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Rattie’s probably the second of the “McDavid pump and dumps”, Maroon being the first. Looking forward to what he can do this season.

  • Consultant

    Rattie sticking on that line and scoring something crazy like 25-30 goals is exactly what this team needs. He can be our Kunitz. I remember that play in the clip, McDavid creates so much space by pulling a couple guys to him, but great play by Rattie to take advantage of it.