2011 NHL Draft Prospects: No. 17 Ty Rattie

If you want to thank someone for Portland Winterhawks forward Ty Rattie’s dedication, commitment, and hard work in hockey, thank Jeff Shaw. Rattie’s junior high teacher, Shaw helped lift Rattie up when he was falling behind with his grades and slacking off in school. “He was the one who said I needed to improve and since then I’ve always been able to get good marks and be focused in everything,” said Rattie in an interview with Yahoo! Sports.

The 6-foot right wing has been tearing it up all year in Oregon, finishing the regular season with 28 goals and 79 points in 67 Western League games. Originally selected second overall in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft, Rattie had large expectations thrust upon him, and he has failed to disappoint. He is ranked 17th overall by NHL Central Scouting, and is one of the most-hyped prospects for the upcoming 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Playing alongside fellow NHL first round draft picks Ryan Johansen and Nino Niederreiter, Rattie has learned a great deal, helping to develop his all-around game and become an even better player. However, it’s more than just those two players who have helped him out.

“[Defenceman] Brett Ponich and [left wing] Riley Boychuk are the big leaders here, but I’d say it comes back to playing with Sven Baertschi, who’s a big prospect here,” said Rattie. “He’s the hardest worker at practice, on and off the ice and I can’t say enough good things about playing with him.”

Rattie is an incredible skater with soft hands, and an impressive ability to slide the puck through even the most nimble defenseman. Just watch this video of Rattie scoring a goal against the Prince George Cougars (a goal that sparked the famous Teddy Bear Toss). His hockey sense is also second-to-none, as one can see watching him throughout the duration of a game.

Something that is not so apparent, however, is Rattie’s play without the puck. He often is caught gliding around the ice, not 100 percent sure where to go. “My positioning when I don’t have the puck is a liability right now, so I’m working on that with the coaches [Mike Johnston and assistant Travis Green, a former NHLer]. There’s always one thing in a player’s game which he has to work on. When I watch video, I can see myself drifting away from the play or not picking up my guy. That’s something which also eventually has to get better.”

At just 167 pounds, Rattie also drastically needs to increase his size. He can handle physical play at the Major Junior level, and has yet to sustain a major injury, but the same style and frame most likely won’t succeed in the NHL. However, if he’s able to bulk up a bit, there’s no reason not to expect him to be on an NHL roster sometime soon.

Alan Bass, a writer for The Hockey News and THN.com, is the author of The Great Expansion: The Ultimate Risk That Changed The NHL Forever. He has worked for the Philadelphia Flyers’ Fan Development department, going to schools throughout the tri-state area to teach about fitness and the importance of teamwork. He is the General Manager of the Muhlenberg College Division II hockey team as well. You can contact him at Alanbasswriting@aol.com.

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