Airdrie player makes NHL debut for St. Louis
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014 11:53 am
Friday, April 11, 2014 will be a day that Airdrie native Ty Rattie will never forget.
The 21-year-old forward made his National Hockey League (NHL) debut that night for the St. Louis Blues, as he took to the ice for the team on the road against the Dallas Stars.
“It was everything I thought it would be,” Rattie said. “It was kind of a far-fetched dream for so long, so to actually make it to the NHL was really cool.”
“The day itself was a pretty exciting one for me, especially after I found out that I was getting called up in the morning,” he added. “I flew down to Dallas and got to the rink about a hour-and-a-half before the game started, and even though everything was happening quickly, it was pretty awesome to be a part of.”
Rattie, who was the 32nd overall pick by the Blues in 2011 NHL Entry Draft, suited up for the squad again on April 13 in St. Louis against the Detroit Red Wings, before being sent back down to the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Chicago Wolves.
Although he was unable to get a point in both games, Rattie felt he learned a lot during the two games, especially when he was on the ice with fellow forwards Alex Steen, Jaden Schwartz, Patrik Berglund and Dmitrij Jaskin.
“The speed of the game took a little bit to adjust too, but there wasn’t a lot of major differences that I had to get used to,” Rattie said. “The systems that the Blues play are actually pretty similar to what we have in Chicago, so there wasn’t a whole of learning that I had to do there.”
“I hope to get back to the Blues as soon as I can and I just want to keep on going from there,” he added.
Although his initial stint with the Blues was a brief one as a call-up, Rattie is currently gearing up for the AHL playoffs with the rest of the Wolves team.
In his first full season as a pro following four strong campaigns with the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Portland Winterhawks, Rattie has become a top offensive threat for the Wolves.
As of press time, Rattie had 29 goals and 17 assists for a total of 46 points in 69 games, which is the most by any Wolves player and the 12th highest point total for first-year players in the AHL.
“I feel like I’ve become more of a complete player here in Chicago,” Rattie said. “I was more of an offensively minded player when I arrived, but I quickly discovered that I needed to be more of a two-way player if I wanted to do well.”
“I’ve spent a lot of time working on my defensive zone coverage, and I want to continue to improve on that part of my game, especially if I want to be a regular player in the NHL,” he added.
Rattie was involved in a bizarre incident that gained a lot of buzz on social media during this season, following a fight that took place with Bobby Shea of the Rockford Ice Hogs on March 22.
As both players were heading back to their dressing rooms, Shea dove across a walkway, crawled across the concrete floor and tried to go after Rattie before he was blocked off by police officers.
“That was a pretty intense situation and something I won’t forget,” Rattie said. “I’m not really known for fighting, and that was my first ever fight as a pro, so that made things pretty memorable.”
“I got a few texts from some of my buddies afterwards who were telling me that I was getting some airtime back home on TSN,” he added. “So that was pretty interesting.”
With the AHL regular season wrapping up on April 19, Rattie is currently getting ready to try and help the Wolves win its third Calder Cup in franchise history, and its first since 2008.
“I just want to do whatever we can to help our team go as far as possible,” Rattie said.
“Our goal from day one has been to win the Calder Cup, and with the guys that we have on this team, I think we can do that.”