Spotlight: Aatu Raty
Spotlight is a feature highlighting NHL Draft eligibles and giving a peek into what makes them an intriguing prospect ahead of the 2021 NHL Draft. This edition features Karpat center Aatu Raty.
- Date of Birth: November 14, 2002
- Position: C
- Team: Kärpät (Liiga)
- Height: Six-foot-one
- Weight: 181 pounds
- Shoots: Left
Older brother Aku was drafted into the NHL
The Raty brothers were born only 16 months apart, and Aatu’s older brother Aku Raty was drafted by the Arizona Coyotes in the fifth round of the 2019 draft. However, Aatu’s late-2002 birthday pushed his draft-eligibility back a year. The brothers are both members of Karpat’s organization, made Finland’s 2020 World Juniors team and played on the same line together.
Raty has struggled amid a tumultuous draft season
It’s been a difficult draft season for most, if not all, 2021 draft-eligible players, but Raty’s production has taken a significant hit this year and he hasn’t necessarily shown a lot of improvement between his DY-1 and DY seasons. Raty has just six points through 29 games with Karpat and hasn’t scored since January 19. His role has greatly diminished with Karpat’s men’s team, and Raty has admitted he’s struggled this season.
Still the top Finnish prospect available in 2021
Samu Tuomaala will have something to say about that, but heading into the 2021 draft season, Raty was pegged to go as high as first overall. He’s got a lot more professional hockey experience than a lot of his fellow draft-eligible peers, and making the World Juniors team as a double underager turned several heads as well (though Raty’s surprising omission from the 2021 team raised some eyebrows too). Even though Raty’s draft stock has fallen this year and there remain questions about his hockey sense and decision-making, he’s still a likely top-15 pick.
What the experts say
“While he might not be at the top of this class anymore, Raty is still a skilled prospect. Perhaps this was just a strong game for him, but there was a lot to like… Overall, there’s a very good prospect here. I’d like to see him a little more engaged off the puck, and not take his foot off the gas on rushes going both ways, but there are many traits that make him a high-end prospect in this class.” – FCHockey crossover scout Josh Bell
“Once considered a contender to get selected 1st overall in 2021, Raty’s stock has slipped since then, and this match showed some good examples as to why. In his defense, there are some things to really like about his game. His puck control is very good, with hands that are deceptive and fast… For a top prospect with a late 2002 birthday and notable pro experience I came away surprised at how unpolished he is overall. Raty is a riskier prospect than people might realize, a little boom or bust, and any team that drafts him would be wise to be very thorough in scouting him.” – FCHockey’s head Western Canada scout Justin Froese
— FCHockey (@FCHockey) March 23, 2021
— Oulun Kärpät (@OulunKarpatFi) June 18, 2019
I just… what? What exactly is Räty trying to do here? pic.twitter.com/jtPFpfJ8Ji
— Derek Neumeier (@Derek_N_NHL) December 22, 2020