The Edmonton Oilers were not expected to be very busy on July 1. That said, they did add a depth piece that will likely spend time in both the AHL and the NHL in Ty Rattie. Unable to really grab a foothold in the NHL to date, Rattie will have an opportunity to show the Oilers he still has the offensive goods.
Ty Rattie’s Deal
The deal is worth $700,000 at the NHL level and $275,000 at the AHL level. It’s a low-risk signing and gives Edmonton more depth on the right wing, but it’s also a signing that isn’t leaving fans in Edmonton satisfied that the team is doing enough considering the exits of Tyler Pitlick and Jordan Oesterle to free agency.
A fan base so used to needing free agency to improve a lottery team, it’s odd to see that Edmonton is confident in their roster heading into the 2017-18 season. Ty Rattie isn’t going to turn heads, but St. Louis thought he was a pretty decent bet when they drafted him in 2011.
Why Ty Rattie?
For the most part, Rattie potentially solves a need for scoring at the AHL level. In 22 AHL games last season he had two goals and three assists. It doesn’t exactly scream offensive production, but as a former 32nd-overall NHL Entry Draft selection, he impressed in the WHL for the Portland Winterhawks (207 goals and 248 assists in 350 regular season, playoff, and Memorial Cup games) and the Oilers hope he can bounce back, producing some of that minor league prowess at the AHL level as well.
If he does, and the Oilers get into injury trouble, he may be called upon to add depth at the NHL level.
Where Rattie Fits With the Oilers
Rattie has a chance to prove himself with a change of scenery. Still, he’s going to slot in behind the likes of Ryan Strome, Jesse Puljujarvi, Anton Slepyshev, Iiro Pakarinen and Zack Kassian. This is if Leon Draisaitl doesn’t get a host of time this coming season on Connor McDavid’s right wing.
The Oilers group of right-wingers isn’t knocking anyone’s socks off, but it’s a stable group who’s young, with the potential to outplay their contract totals in a major way. Rattie is probably not in that cluster.
The Oilers are hoping Strome can come in and give the team 50-plus points as a more cost-effective replacement for Jordan Eberle. Jesse Puljujarvi is going to be given every chance to crack the starting lineup out of camp and if he progresses as a second-year prospect, could do well in the NHL. Slephyshev and Kassian are proving to be valuable depth forwards who can jump up in a pinch. Unfortunately for Rattie, he doesn’t move ahead of any of these players if all stays status quo.
The Edmonton Oilers have proven they’re not going to be busy buyers in free agency. They’re looking for players on two-way contracts who can help at both the AHL and NHL levels. Rattie is in that mold and if any more signings come along for the Oilers, it will be of similar characteristics.
Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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