The St. Louis Blues may need help in terms of scoring, but help is on the way. The St. Louis Blues second round draft pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the same draft in which they picked up Jordan Binnington in the third round, was Portland Winterhawks forward Ty Rattie.
Before we get into the honors Rattie has earned this season, let’s take a brief look at what he has done so far. Rattie has played 269 regular season games in the WHL all with the Portland Winterhawks. In those 269 games Rattie posted 151 goals and 197 assists. For those of you who don’t like to do math, that is an incredible 348 points or almost 1.3 points-per-game. His production is incredible especially when you consider that 231 of those points came in the last two seasons alone.
What about the playoffs though? Clearly the Blues score enough to make it to the postseason, but what we really need in clutch scoring. Well, how about 50 goals and 46 assists in just 78 playoff games including being the first player in WHL history to score 50 postseason goals. That is a staggering 1.23 goals-per-game in the playoffs throughout his career and really the majority of the production was in the last two seasons.
This season, Rattie finished with 20 goals and 16 assists in just 21 playoff games naturally making him the MVP of the WHL Championship. So far in Memorial Cup play, just two games, Rattie has posted three goals and three assists. Hopefully Rattie and his star-studded Winterhawks can win the ultimate prize of the Memorial Cup, but, more importantly, let’s hope Rattie can translate his game to the NHL.
Critics of Rattie often site that his size is not ideal for the NHL’s game. Bigger players are sought after in the modern NHL and at 6’0 and just 176 pounds, Rattie is small in comparison. In order to have success at the NHL level, Rattie is going to have to use his hockey sense to beat larger players.
Bill Armstrong, St. Louis Blues’ director of amateur scouting, thinks that it will take him some time to adapt to the NHL game:
His instincts, his offensive ability translates to the NHL level, but he will have to continue to develop his game to deal with the bigger (defensemen) in the league. Some of those guys are 230, 240 pounds and they’re fast. He still has strides to go, still has some things he needs to improve.
Although many still wonder if he will be ready for the challenge of the NHL next season, Blues fans can look to another player that many doubted would have the size for the NHL without more time to mature. Jad Schwartz was a standout late in the season for the Blues and learned to use his skill as an advantage against much bigger players. If Rattie can use patience and skill, he just might be in the NHL before you know it. Still, with him set to join the Chicago Wolves of the AHL next season, there is a lot for Blues’ fans to be excited about.
Look for Rattie again tomorrow night as the Portland Winterhawks will take on the Saskatoon Blades as they continue their push to win the Memorial Cup.
LET’S GO WINTERHAWKS AND LET’S GO BLUES!