Entering the 2018-19 season, forward Ty Rattie was labeled as one of the players who could make or break the Edmonton Oilers’ season. Any determination of Rattie’s impact on the campaign was put on hold in mid-October, when the 25-year-old was placed on the injured reserve with an undisclosed injury. Expected to be out until later this month, it came as somewhat of a surprise this afternoon when the Oilers announced that Rattie has been activated from the IR and is set to return to the lineup. In a corresponding move, rookie forward Cooper Marody has been returned to the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors.
After an incredibly productive preseason, Rattie was handed a coveted first-line slot on the right wing of superstar center Connor McDavid. It was a career-defining opportunity for Rattie, who has been little more than minor league depth thus far in his pro career. A second-round pick of the St. Louis Blues in 2011, Rattie played in only 30 NHL games in parts of four seasons in St. Louis, recording eight points. He was lost on waivers briefly to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2016-17 and contributed two points in five games. Rattie opted to sign with Edmonton as a free agent in 2017 and played in a career-high 14 games last season, posting a career best 15:28 ATOI. It was far from regular NHL action, but was the first step toward taking a permanent role with the Oilers, and he made the most of it by posting nine points. Expected to take a step forward this year, Rattie notched a goal and an assist in his five games prior to the injury. While he’s not quite back at square one, he may very well have to work his way back into top minutes and first-line consideration.
If Rattie can find his scoring touch quickly, he should be back in the top-six as soon as possible. The Oilers have struggled with secondary scoring this season, with only McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins holding more than seven points on the year. The platoon on the right side is an especially troublesome situation, with Alex Chiasson, Drake Caggiula, Zack Kassian, and Jesse Puljujarvi all failing to make the most of their opportunities. Rattie’s addition would be a welcome addition to the competition for production and consistency at right wing.
Marody, a first-year pro out of the University of Michigan, skated in two games for the Oilers during Rattie’s absence. While he was limited to under nine minutes of ice time per night and held scoreless, he didn’t look out of place at the NHL level. A sixth-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers acquired for a third-round pick last spring, Marody’s stock is clearly on the rise and he should see more action in Edmonton before the end of the season.