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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Can Ty Rattie fill the Patrick Maroon role on the Oilers?

Ty Rattie and Patrick Maroon are different style hockey players. Rattie’s much smaller, but can he mimic Maroon and break into the NHL as a full-time player at 25 and play with highly-skilled players?

Up until 2013-14, Maroon was a really good AHL player that hadn’t played more than 15 odd games with the Anaheim Ducks after a trade from Philadelphia early in the 2010-11 season.

The knock on Maroon was his skating, which isn’t Rattie’s strong suit despite looking a step quicker in preseason (note: it’s preseason).

Hockey’s Future ranked Maroon as the Flyers’ 12th best prospect after a 54-point debut season in the AHL in 2009.

Maroon spent most of his time playing with Mathieu Perrault, Corey Perry, and Ryan Getzlaf in his first full-time NHL season. He spent a lot of time next to Connor McDavid in Edmonton and looks like he’ll open the season beside Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko in St. Louis.

Maroon made the jump to the NHL at 25 and managed to ride shotgun with numerous elite players. Can Ty Rattie do the same?

Maroon was the better minor-league scorer. He scored over 270 points in 353 AHL games, good for 0.79 points per game. Rattie’s 0.69 points per game is nice, but falls below Maroon. Although, Rattie’s five points in 22 games during the 2016-17 season doesn’t feel like an accurate representation of his talents. He spent most of the season as a healthy scratch, then briefly with Carolina after being claimed on waivers, and finally back with St. Louis’ AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves. Without that odd stretch, Rattie’s points per game is at 0.72 and that’s not too far off Maroon’s AHL scoring.

Rattie spent most of last season with Bakersfield, but caught fire alongside McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at the end of the season, finishing with nine points in 14 games. That line outscored the opposition 13-7 in 100 5-on-5 minutes.

Can Rattie fill the Maroon role and score 20 goals and 20 assists playing with McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins? Maroon reached career highs in goals and points playing in Edmonton.

Rattie’s small time in Edmonton projects to a 50-point season, and that includes a stretch where he only had two points in his last seven games. That seems like a lot for a player who hasn’t played 20 games in an NHL season, but Maroon had 29 points and a 38-point pace in his first full-time season with Anaheim.

Rattie seems very likely to start the season to the right of Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid. He’ll never get a better shot than this. His $800K salary means he can play himself into value contract territory fairly quickly.

You don’t need three stars on a line. It’d be nice, but it’s not realistic. Sidney Crosby spent a bunch of line with Conor Sheary and Bryan Rust on his wings. Washington managed to win the Stanley Cup with Tom Wilson on a line with Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

The Oilers also need Rattie to take that next step. Tobias Reider is their lone right wing with a 30-point season to his name. Jesse Puljujarvi might be emerging, but will be stapled to Ryan Strome. Zack Kassian can’t be counted on above a fourth-line role.

Edmonton didn’t have the space to add anyone due to Chiarelli’s salary cap management and a lack of tradable assets, leaving room for a player like Rattie to claim a spot in a skilled role.

The Oilers got a lot of value from Maroon and his cheap cap hit. They’re hoping another good minor-league scorer can translate that into NHL success at age 25.