EDMONTON, AB - It's a "do or die" season for Oilers forward Ty Rattie.
"I've had my chances and been through a few teams and you can only have so many chances before the whole League just says, 'Maybe you can't do it,'" Rattie explained Thursday at Oilers Main Camp, where players underwent medicals and fitness testing.
The 25-year-old Airdrie, AB, native spent the last year as a leading goal-scorer with the American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors and was re-signed to a one-year contract with the Oilers in the off-season. He appeared in 14 games with Edmonton to close out the 2017-18 campaign, playing alongside Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and said the prospect of continuing to line up with the Oilers captain kept him motivated all summer.
"I thought about it every day I think," he said. "Just the player he is, who wouldn't want to play there? I want to make the team first and foremost but I worked my whole summer to prove I can be in that spot... I probably skated twice as much as I've ever skated and I'm ready to go."
Video: CAMP RAW | Ty Rattie 09.13.18
For McDavid, he's hoping Oilers Main Camp will be the time to build chemistry with his projected linemates and strengthen relationships.
"I like playing with Ratts and I'm glad he's motivated," he said. "We've got to find a way to click here early and build that chemistry. I'm hopeful there's a line that sticks and we can build and work on our game together, whereas last year we bounced around lines and didn't find something successful until the end of the year."
Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan confirmed Thursday he will keep the RNH-McDavid-Rattie trio together to start training camp and pre-season.
"He's a player that was almost at the end of opportunity and took advantage of it and we expect him to continue to hold onto it," he said.
Rattie says if he is given the chance to be McDavid's right-hand man on a permanent basis, he'll do everything he can to not let it go.