Hockey Guy: Blues prospect shatters WHL records

2013-05-16T11:25:00Z 2013-05-16T12:10:09Z Hockey Guy: Blues prospect shatters WHL recordsBy Jeff Gordon

Blues fans are clamoring for more offensive firepower for their forward lines.

Perhaps talented winger Vladimir Tarasenko can answer that call with more consistent production. Maybe the relentless  Jaden Schwartz is ready to take a big step.

There there is budding power forward Dmitrij Jaskin, who got a very small taste of the NHL season.

Oh, and let's not forget winger Ty Rattie -- the Blues prospect who posted ridiculous numbers for the Portland Winterhawks this season as that team reach the Memorial Cup showdown.

Rattie set a Western Hockey League record by scoring 50 goals in 75 career playoff games. He scored 20 times in 21 postseason games this season.

He scored a hat trick as Portland finished off the Edmonton Oil Kings to win the WHL’s Ed Chynoweth Cup.

“Unbelievable,” Rattie said told reporters amid the celebration. “I’ve had the time of my life in my junior career, with these guys. This year, to finish it off. It’s something I’m never going to forget.”

Going back into the regular season, Rattie, picked 32nd overall by the Blues in 2011, scored 49 goals in his last 50 games. He took a mid-season break to gain additional seasoning in the World Junior Championships earlier this season.

Last season Rattie scored 121 points in 69 regular season games for Portland and 33 points in 21 playoff games. So, yes, this young man can finish.

But fans also need to maintain some perspective on those numbers. Many big-time junior hockey scorers struggled to carry that ability to the next level.

For instance, Blues draft pick Brett Sonne scored 48 goals for the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL but peaked at 11 goals in the AHL and never advanced to the NHL.

Portland was a junior hockey juggernaut the last two seasons, loaded with NHL-caliber prospects. Rattie was surrounded by skill, especially from the puck-rushing Winterhawk defensemen.

Scoring at the pro level won’t be so easy for him. His former linemate Sven Baertschi discovered that this season for the Calgary Flames. He scored three goals and added seven assists in 20 NHL games but needed more time to mature at the American Hockey League level.

That is where Rattie should start next season, playing a step or two behind the NHL pace while he continues developing.

If he adds some muscle to his 6-foot frame and continues evolving as a player, he could work his way onto a Blues scoring line somewhere down the road.

Worst case scenario for Rattie: He will definitely bring more scoring depth to an organization that sorely needs it.

The Blues will get another chance to evaluate Rattie at the Memorial Cup. Portland plays in the round-robin event wit the host Saskatoon Blades of the WHL, the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion will are competing for junior hockey’s top prize.

AROUND THE RINKS: The risk with bringing veteran European players to the NHL is considerable. The adjustment can be difficult for players accustomed to dominating play aren't easily relegated into roles. Roman Cevenka is returning to Russia's KHL after one unhappy season with the Flames. His tale reminds us all to temper expectations for Jori Lehtera, a Finnish-born KHL star the Blues are wooing to North America. Lehtera, a third-round pick of the Blues, failed to make the team earlier in his career and returned to Europe after playing briefly in the AHL . . .  Dave Tippett has worked miracles while coaching the cash-strapped Phoenix Coyotes. With the future of that franchise still up in the air, Tippett appears ready for a new challenge. New Stars GM Jim Nill may consider bringing Tippett back to Dallas, but would Tippett return to the franchise that fired him? Colorado offers an appealing challenge. Strong ownership, new management and plenty of up-and-coming talent could make that job very appealing . . . As it turns out, the Blackhawks' brilliant play this season was not a fluke. Coach Joel Quenneville has them playing Cup-caliber hockey, as the Red Wings discovered the hard way.

Jeff Gordon

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Must See Video
powered by

Hochman: Cards' hopes lie with Lackey

Hochman: Cards' hopes lie with Lackey

He appears impervious to things on the field that would affect regular Earthlings, be it pressure or noise or the possibility of a 100-win sea…

7 hours ago Related Loading…

BenFred: Cards confident as they face elimination

BenFred: Cards confident as they face elimination

John Lackey is familiar with a big stage — his 124-plus postseason innings pitched are the most of anyone in the playoffs. 

8 hours agoLoading…

Tipsheet: Richardson back in the NFL, for now

Tipsheet: Richardson back in the NFL, for now

Former Mizzou star Sheldon Richardson is back on the field for the Jets, but his NFL future remains murky.

3 hours agoLoading…

Schwarber homer extends Cubs' lead

Schwarber homer extends Cubs' lead

Clutch hits from Cruz and Moss enabled Cardinals to tie the score — until the Cubs hit two more balls out.

8 minutes ago Photos


Related Loading…

Jeff Gordon

This is the new home for sports columnist Jeff Gordon. Here you'll find his columns on the Cards, Rams, Blues and more, plus his daily "Tipsheet" blog about who's in and who's out in the world of sports.

Get weekly ads via e-mail