With the No. 56 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, the Edmonton Oilers could select… Scott Ratzlaff?

Ryley Delaney
1 year ago
Who doesn’t love talking about goalies?
The Edmonton Oilers’ goaltending depth is a little lacking, to say the least. Stuart Skinner recently graduated to become the team’s starting goaltender, so he’s not a prospect anymore. Ilya Konovalov, a promising goaltender when drafted in 2019, has all but abandoned his National Hockey League ambition after one season in the American Hockey League.
That leaves just Olivier Rodrigue and Samuel Jonsson. The former finally had a good season with the Bakersfield Condors (.912 save percentage, 2.77 goals against average) after struggling during his first two professional seasons. The latter was drafted in the fifth round of the 2022 draft and had a .902 save percentage with Rogle BK Jr. in the Swedish Junior League.
With all that in mind, it might make sense for the Oilers to add another goalie prospect to their system at this summer’s draft. One name that stands out who might be available to them when they make their first selection is Scott Ratzlaff of the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds.


Scott Ratzlaff Scouting Report and Profile

Position: Goaltender
Shoots: Left 
Nationality: Canada
Date of Birth: March 9, 2005
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 175 lbs

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The 18-year-old was the 1B goaltender for the Seattle Thunderbirds, who made it all the way to the finals, after a pretty successful season in the Western Hockey League.
Ratzlaff was a big reason for that, even if he didn’t appear in the playoffs or the Memorial Cup. The 18-year-old played 34 of the 68 games in the regular season, quite a few of which came when Thomas Milic participated in the U20 World Junior Championship. 
The young tender had a .918 save percentage, the third-highest of any goalie with 30+ games played. His 2.15 goals-against average was even better, as it ranked second highest in the league with more than two games played. Oddly enough, he was edged out by fellow Thunderbirds netminder, Milic, who took the other half of the games.
“Very smart goalie with very good positional play (good angles and smart to challenge) – Good butterfly coverage sealing the ice and five-hole with good leg extension protecting the low corners – Technically sound – Very efficient and quick lateral crease movements – Very alert and competitive (very good overall quickness and athleticism) – Smart reading the pass across one time plays – Strong on wraparound attempts – Good quickness back to his feet – Very good feet and skates well – Got a very good glove hand – Manages the game well – Good overall rebound control – Very good draft consideration.” – Matt Tidcombe, CHL Scouting
Ratzlaff ranks anywhere from 64th (Recruit Scouting) to 89th (McKeen’s Hockey). Furthermore, he ranks as the fourth-best North American netminder according to the NHL Central Scouting. Realistically, the Oilers may be able to trade this pick for two in the third round to pick Ratzlaff.
Goaltenders are usually large human beings, but the same cannot be said for Ratzlaff. Despite this, he is positionally sound, usually making “the easy save”, rather than the impressive, lunging save. Scouting reports are pretty fond of his rebound control as well, as he does a great job directing the puck to low-danger areas.
Ratzlaff’s skating is his best attribute. He’s precise with his movements and is quick to where he needs to be. He also has great hockey IQ and calmness under pressure.

Previously in this series…

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