After acquiring him yesterday, the Vancouver Canucks have officially loaned Aatu Raty to the Abbotsford Canucks of the AHL, where he’ll acclimate himself to the organization.
Raty, 20, is one of only 12 players from the 2021 draft class to have played in the NHL, suiting up 12 times for the Islanders this season. Those games actually mean the first year of his entry-level contract will be burned even if the Canucks keep him in the minor leagues the rest of the season, and have him on schedule to reach restricted free agency in the summer of 2025.
With the addition of Anthony Beauvillier, to essentially fill Bo Horvat’s roster spot, Vancouver doesn’t need Raty in the NHL just yet. But should they make any more subtractions over the next few weeks, he could potentially get some time in down the stretch. The second-round pick had 15 points in 27 games with the Bridgeport Islanders and two goals during his time with New York, but has shown flashes of even more offensive upside in an excellent post-draft career so far.
Harman Dayal of The Athletic wrote today about Raty’s journey from top prospect to a falling draft asset but noted that he’s now viewed by scouts across the league as a “near-lock” to play on an NHL third line, with a ceiling even higher than that. While some expect him to play more wing at the next level, Vancouver is still hoping to keep him in the middle for now.
Vancouver is off until February 6, but Abbotsford has three games before then. Given the NHL squad is carrying just 20 players as they head into the break, there could even be a recall even sooner than expected.