Draft Preview: Ty Rattie

The Portland Winterhawks' Ty Rattie has quick hands but slow feet. Still, could he be the elusive scorer that the Predators are always on the hunt for?

The major knock on the Portland Winterhawks' Ty Rattie is that his skating ability is subpar - a fixable problem. (Bryan Heim/Portland Winterhawks)

When a player evokes comparisons to Andrew Brunette, it’s not usually a good thing.

The major knock on the Portland Winterhawks’ Ty Rattie is that he isn’t a very good skater. He has “square wheel syndrome”.

Lucky for Rattie, he’s only 18 years old and he already has all of the other skills. He has a hard, accurate shot and a very good hockey sense. If he tacks on skating skill, he could have the tools to not just be a top 6 NHL forward, but an elite NHL forward.

The Airdrie, Alberta native has played for parts of three seasons as a right wing at Portland. In a 10 game campaign as a 16-year-old in 2009, his only scoring output was 1 goal. Last season, Rattie played almost a full year, suiting up in 61 games and scoring a

respectable 17 goals and 20 assists. This season, Rattie had a breakout year, surpassing the point per game mark while scoring 28 goals while adding 51 helpers. Next year, Rattie could have a very realistic chance at breaking the 100 point mark, especially if his NHL club  gets him some skating help. The fact that he has been invited to participate in Team Canada’s summer development camp bodes well for him.

In a draft filled with small forwards, Rattie stands at an almost gargantuan at 5’11″. Like many players his age, however, Rattie hasn’t quite grown into his size and stands at only about 170 pounds soaking wet.

Another player who is all over the board in terms of scouting, Rattie was ranked as high as the number 11 skater in North America this year by Central Scouting, but finished the season at 17th. The ISS ranks him at 22nd , while The Hockey News ranks him at 33rd, which puts him on Nashville’s radar.

If one listened to every scouting service, there are about 60 players who will be drafted in the first round this season – obviously some of these will drop to the second round for one reason or another. Potentially, Rattie’s entire stock rests on whether or not teams are willing to take a chance on a player who takes a while to get through the gears to get up to speed. When a player is skinny and has trouble skating, he has the potential to be moved off of the puck pretty easily. Definitely a project player, if David Poile felt that it was possible to turn Rattie into at least a mid-level skater, the Predators could have a very explosive scorer on their hands.

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A native of Franklin, Tennessee, Patten Fuqua is the managing editor of PuckScene.com. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science from Belmont University in Journalism and Broadcasting.