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Wild Signs Defenseman Peter Ratchuk

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild

 
 Peter Ratchuk led the Frankfurt Lions to the 2003-04 German Elite League Championship.
For the second time since June 1, the Minnesota Wild tested the waters of the European free agent pool, and this time, fished out an American. After signing Finnish goaltender Niklas Backstrom on Thursday, the Wild signed Buffalo, New York-native Peter Ratchuk, a defenseman who spent the last three years playing in the German Elite League. The contract is for the 2006-07 season.

Ratchuk, who played his prep hockey at prestigious Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minnesota, found his niche in Europe after bouncing around North America since making his NHL debut with Florida in 1998-99.

Last season, Ratchuk tallied 12 goals and 24 assists in 52 games in his first season with Adler Mannheim. He spent the previous two seasons with Frankfurt, a team he helped lead to the 2003-2004 German Elite League championship after scoring 43 regular season points (21-22=43) to rank third in League Scoring among defensemen. He added six playoff points (1-5=6) in 15 playoff games on the way to the German championship.

The 28-year-old was originally selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft with the 26th overall pick. The next season, he played for Bowling Green of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, but left after one year for Hull of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The next season, the 6-foot-1, 185-pounder found himself in the National Hockey League, appearing in 24 games with the Florida Panthers and scoring one goal and one assist. With the exception of eight more games with the Panthers in 2000-2001, Ratchuk played five seasons in the American Hockey League with four different teams.

Peter Ratchuk’s Career Statistics

    Reg. Season               Playoffs      
 Season  Club  League  GP  G  PTS  PIM  GP  G  A  PTS  PIM
 1996-97  Bowling Green  CCHA  35  9  12  21  14 --  --   --  --  --
 1997-98 Hull   QMJHL 60   23  31  54  34  11  3  6  9  8
 1998-99  Florida  NHL 24   1  1  2  10  -- --   --  --  --
   New Haven  AHL  53  7  20  27  44  --  --  -- --   --
 1999-00  Louisville  AHL 76   17  26  64  4  2  0
 2000-01  Louisville AHL  64   5  13  18 85  --  --   -- --   --
  Florida   NHL  8  0  0  0  0  -- --   --  --  --
 2001-02  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton  AHL  75 16  23 39   55  --  --  --  --  --
 2002-03  Rochester  AHL  70  11  21 32  64   3  0  1  1
 2003-04  Frankfurt  German  52  21  22 43  80   15  1  5 16 
 2004-05  Frankfurt German  51  10   26  36 102   11  2  3  14
2005-06   Adler Mannheim  German  52  12 24   36  88  --  --  --  -- -- 
  NHL Totals     32  1  1  2 10           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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