The New York Islanders have been busy ahead of their game against the Florida Panthers tonight, making four different transactions. Kyle Palmieri and Semyon Varlamov have been moved to injured reserve, while Aatu Raty and Parker Wotherspoon will come up from the AHL to take their roster spots.
Raty, 20, will certainly draw most of the attention, as he comes up for the first time this season and potentially makes his NHL debut. The young forward was once considered a potential top-five pick in the 2021 draft but ended up falling all the way to the middle of the second round after some disappointing performances in Finnish professional hockey. Since being selected 52nd, though, he has turned things around and is now one of the Islanders’ top prospects.
His first post-draft season was outstanding, as Raty was moved from Karpat (where he had struggled) to Jukurit and instantly started to find success. With 40 points in 41 games, spectators finally saw what had made him such an interesting prospect growing up. At the end of the yer, he joined the Bridgeport Islanders and fit right in, recording four points in six AHL playoff games.
This year, after an excellent training camp that nearly landed him an NHL spot right away, things have been a little slower for the young Finn. He has 12 points in 23 games for Bridgeport but hasn’t quite been the dominant presence that some hoped for. Still, he has earned a call-up as the team deals with several injuries upfront.
Unfortunately, he’s coming into a tough situation. The Islanders have lost seven of their last ten and now sit sixth in the Metropolitan Division. A win over the Florida Panthers today would be a huge boost before breaking for a few days, and perhaps Raty can give them some energy should he debut this evening.