DRAFT YEAR PRODUCTION: Karpat (Finland) 35 GP, 3G, 3A, 6 PTS
RANKING: 3rd Ranked European Skater - Central Scouting
WHAT'S THE BUZZ
"He made the Karpat team. Karpat is one of the top teams, and has been so for many years and they had a tough season. When you are a young player on a struggling team, it's not easy to play up to your own standard. I still think Raty will be a hell of a good player. He just had an off season." - Goran Stubb, NHL Director of Euro Scouting
CUT TO THE CHASE
It's one of the bigger mysteries of the upcoming draft. Where will Aatu Raty land?
The Finnish center had a down year, but NHL Central Scouting still thinks extremely high of him, ranking Raty as the third-best European skater available.
The potential is there for Raty. He was seen as a potential top pick a year ago after making Finland's World Junior team. He was the youngest player in the tournament but still managed to produce two goals and an assist for the Finns.
However, Raty struggled this past season and missed the cut for the 2021 World Juniors. He moved on to Karpat, playing against men in Finland but compiled just six points in 35 games. On the junior squad, he skated in eight contests and produced three goals and four assists. But something was off.
"He's a very interesting case," said a scout, according to The Hockey News. "He still has good things in his game, but the bad things are being exposed. He should be contributing by now in the men's league, and it's just not opening up for him."
Regardless of the hesitations, Raty has tools to develop. He has skating, he has good size, he has good hands, he has decent hockey IQ. But given his performance this past season, Raty is going to be more of a gamble than some of the other projected first-rounders. Regardless, he has drawn some comparisons to players like Sean Monahan of the Flames.
If you're patient and can develop talent, Raty could be a huge hit for a club.