In 2011, the St. Louis Blues entered the draft with no first round picks, but looking at a deep draft calss, the Blues believed they were in good position to pick up a valuable player early in the second round. With the 32nd overall selection that year, the Blues choose Ty Rattie of the Portland Winterhawks.
Rattie was born on February 5, 1993 and was raised in Airdie, Alberta, Canada. Rattie’s career gained attention in 2007-08 when Rattie was a star for the Airdie Xtreme Bantam AAA team. In just 33 games, Rattie put up 75 goals and 56 assists (131 points) and spent 101 minutes in the penalty box. That is almost 4 points-per-game and just over 3 minutes-per-game spent in the sin bin. That season the Airdie Xtreme made the playoffs and in 10 games Rattie netted 12 goals and added 11 assists.
After his incredible season, Rattie was drafted in the 2008 WHL Bantam draft 2nd overall by the Portlans Winterhawks, taken only after Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, a name that many know very well. Following the draft, Rattie began the 2008-09 season with the UFA Bisons Midget AAA team. He would play in 34 games with that team scoring 29 goals and 25 assists before joining the Winterhawks. Once Rattie made the jump to Portland, he would see just 10 games to end the season and managed to net just 1 goal.
Rattie’s official rookie season in the WHL began in 2009-10 with the Winterhawks. Rattie put up a solid 17 goals and 20 assists in 61 games against the stiffer competition. The Winterhawks went on to earn a playoff spot that year as well, adding another 13 games for Rattie. The playoffs would see him score another 2 goals and 2 assists. That same year, Rattie joined Team Pacific at the 2010 World U-17 Hockey Challenge. The tournament would see Rattie play 5 games and score 2 goals and 7 assists.
Rattie finally grew into his own in the WHL beginning with the 2010-11 season. Rattie’s progression really started to get the attention of pro scouts and his name was thrown around on a lot of team’s lists come draft season. In 67 games with the Winterhawks that year, Rattie put up 28 goals and 51 assists to make him more than a point-per-game player, and still at a very young age. It was after this strong season that the Blues drafted him, but he would only continue to grow from there.
As property of the St. Louis Blues, Rattie’s 2011-12 season was a big one. After having attended the Blues training camp, Rattie scored 57 times and assisted on 64 other goals all while maintaining a plus-23 rating on the ice. At the end of the season, Rattie was the WHL’s third leading scorer and led the Winterhawks into the playoffs. Helping to lead his team to the WHL Finals after a second place finish in the regular season, Rattie added 19 goals and 14 assists in 21 playoff games, managing to keep a plus-10 rating. After last season, a lot more attention was placed on the young player who seemed to really come out of his shell.
So far in 2012-13, Rattie has played just 30 games for the Winterhawks and has scored 19 goals and 28 assists, good for 47 points. On top of that, his current plus/minus is a staggering plus-28 and hopefully will only continue to grow. Currently Rattie is playing in the World Junior Championships alongside fellow Blues prospect Jordan Binnington for Team Canada. Scouts watching the tourney have seen Rattie put up points so far and play on the same ice as a player he is often compared to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Rattie is known for his ability to locate open ice in the offensive zone and has been referred to as a player with a nose for the net on more than one occasion. While he is a fast skater, he manages to maintain the puck in pressure situations and also has a great defensive mind about him as well. He seems like an ideal player to fit into the Hitchcock model that the Blues employ, but the question will be if he is ready to make that large of a leap. I would say to expect to see Rattie in Peoria next season and perhaps being called up in times of injury, but be aware that once he is a member of the big team that his name will make its way to the score sheet often enough that no one will dare pronounce his name incorrectly.
So as the lockout continues to loom, at least we have the chance to watch a future Blue play in Ufa alongside of a possible future teammate. While we wait for the NHLPA to respond to the latest NHL offer, all we can do is focus on our youthful players developing into world class stars. Let’s all wish Rattie and Binnington lots of luck, and, as always, LET’S GO BLUES!