Ty Rattie lit it up this preseason, which has Oilers fans excited for what he will bring to the table this year. I must admit it’s hard not to get sucked into the hype with 18 points (7G-11A) through four preseason games and a hat-trick against the Canucks to add to it.
But it’s important not to get too excited over Rattie’s incredible production this September. The question still needs answering: Is Ty Rattie the answer? What can we expect from him this season?
It’s a near impossible question to answer right now with limited play to showcase. When we look at his numbers in the NHL he only has 49 games in the big leagues under his belt. Prior to last year he never scored more than four goals in a season. His career high in points is currently 9, when he scored five goals in 14 games last year.
But Rattie’s stats are irrelevant to why I think it’s too early to jump on the bandwagon. Other than showcasing the limited experience he has; all the numbers show is he’s had some pretty good success in limited action with the Oilers.
Why is he just finding this success now at 25-years-old? Some players develop later than others sure, but could his explosive play have anything to do with playing with Connor McDavid since being called up from Bakersfield late last year?
Having the best player in the world on your team is the best thing any hockey team can ask for. But at times it may create a mirage of other players’ abilities. Let’s not forget that while playing on the top line with McDavid, Patrick Maroon scored 27 goals in 2016-17.
While Maroon was a fan favourite, it was unfair to expect him to replicate his scoring numbers from that magical season, especially since his career-high in goals prior to that year never eclipsed 11.
It would also be extremely unfair to assume that Rattie’s success is a mirage simply because of what another player has done. But using Maroon to realize the “McDavid Factor” is something to solidify being wary over the seven goals for Rattie through four preseason games. When comparing Maroon and Rattie we see two completely different players in style, size and ability.
However, comparing both by looking at corsi ratings for example, Maroon had a CF% of 52.94 through 57 games with the Oilers in 2017-18. In just 14 games with Edmonton to end the year last year, Rattie held a 45.48 CF%.
To put that into perspective Maroon spent 825:55 on the ice for the Oilers last year. Rattie held an ice time of 193:07. That’s not much of a shot difference between two players with a canyon of space between their respective ice time. So Rattie has shown he can add to shot totals with less ice-time.
Ty Rattie has shown he can score on the Oilers top line with Connor McDavid and can be a play-maker. There’s no question about that. I see him having the ability to be an effective part of that top line and I think he has the potential to be one of the team’s best scorers.
My only question is will he be able to do it consistently or is he just showing us a by-product of playing with the best player in the world? I feel it’s too early in his young career to solidify what we’ve seen in limited action as being something we can bank on and pay top dollar for.
Ty Rattie sure looks like the answer right now, but is he the long-term answer? As exciting as it is to believe that he is, Oilers fans should avoid putting weight into that belief until it’s completely tangible. Only time will tell with the season on the horizon.