2011 second round pick continues to shine while awaiting permanent NHL call
HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Ty Rattie was among the 25 skaters on the ice among Blues' prospects getting ready for the upcoming tournament in Traverse City, Mich.
But considering when Rattie first came into town three years ago as a scrawny 165-pound 18-year-old winger with plenty of potential that needed to grow into his body to the one that departed with the remainder of the prospects Thursday afternoon, that 191-pound 21-year-old seasoned player was a man among boys.
"I saw him score a couple out there today that were pretty nice," said Chicago Wolves coach John Anderson, who will be coaching the prospects, beginning with the opener Friday at 6:30 p.m. against the Detroit Red Wings. "I'm glad he's got his mojo back."
Anderson saw firsthand Rattie's goal-scoring prowess. He led the Wolves with 31 goals and 48 points last season after 105 goals in the previous two seasons with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League and appears on the brink of making the Blues' NHL roster. Rattie continues to knock on the door.
But with the Blues having so much organizational depth both at the NHL and American Hockey League level, Rattie will have his hands full and may have to display a little more patience.
"It's obviously one of the deeper teams in the League and they're a top team in the League for a reason," Rattie said of the Blues. "I know it's going to be hard, but it'll be fun that way and whatever happens, happens. As long as I come out here and do my best and look good, it's up to the grass after that."
Rattie, the Blues' 2nd round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, has been through it before. And yet, here he is once again doing all he can to make a favorable impression.
"I think my first Traverse, I came in at 165 pounds and the now I come in at 191," Rattie said. "From going through the weight, defensive responsibilities ... I'm just a better overall player. I feel good and I'm looking forward to it.
"You want to contribute on any team you play on and I thought I did that last year in Chicago. I want to continue to prove that I can be a contributing player. I've got to prove that this tournament and continue it into the main camp."
Rattie will be with the Blues for the start of training camp, which is slated to begin Sept. 18. Getting the wheels dusted off and going with four games in five days in Michigan is a good way to get the season going.
"It's kind of big just to get the rust off a little bit," Rattie said. "It's your first games in a few months and I know it might not be the pro level, but it is good hockey. It's really good hockey. You come out of that tournament feeling good and confidence is high for the main camp."
Anderson likes Rattie's chances of getting to the NHL sooner rather than later for one reason more than the other.
"I think he's right on the cusp," Anderson said of Rattie. "The one thing about Ty is he's a very coachable young man. He's a great person. He is a great scorer, but usually scorers get that reputation where they don't want to listen. But he's the exact opposite. He wants to do what it takes to get there. He's just a pleasure to coach.
"Most guys make it through other guys getting injured and getting good looks. Fortunately for St. Louis right now, and unfortunately for guys in Chicago, there wasn't very many injuries here. The training staff did a good job here. There weren't a lot of openings that way. I think he'll be patient. He scored 31 goals for us last year and he didn't score in 20 games straight. He could have potentially been a 50-goal scorer for us if he didn't go into that slump, but hopefully we'll fix that this year. ... He scores goals that other people don't think about."
Ty Rattie led the AHL's Chicago Wolves in goals (31) and points (48) last
season. He continues to knock on the NHL door of the Blues.
Now Rattie gets to be the voice of reason for those prospects going through their first tournament sessions and being at the Blues' training facility. After all, he's been there before.
"We had a team meeting last night and Doug (Armstrong) said, 'Don't leave anything behind. Leave it all out there,'" Rattie said. "He said guys come in with no NHL contracts and then they leave with NHL contracts. You never know who's watching. You take it game by game and just give it your best.
"They brought me in (to Chicago) to be a goal scorer and I thought I did that. But it's one year. I could go this year and I don't want to have a worse year than I did last year. I just want to continue to get better and better. I worked hard this offseason and I'm looking forward to the start of this year."