Edmonton Oilers: Can Ty Rattie become the new Patrick Maroon?

EDMONTON, AB - APRIL 7: Ty Rattie /

With the Edmonton Oilers resigning Ty Rattie for next year, can he be a difference maker on the first line with Connor McDavid?

When the Edmonton Oilers signed UFA Ty Rattie to a one-year, two-way contract worth $700,00 on Jul. 1, 2017, the former WHL star received little fanfare in Oil Country. Rattie tallied just four goals and 10 points in 35 career NHL games through his first four professional seasons, while playing more than 200 games in the AHL.

However, he’s always been a high skill player and produced well at each level except the NHL, so the potential is there for him to make the impact with the Edmonton Oilers. The 25-year-old right-winger led the Bakersfield Condors in goals (21) this season and finished tied for second on the team in points (43) in 53 games.

Rattie was rewarded for his strong play in the minors with a late-season recall to Edmonton when the playoffs were long out of reach for the club, and to the surprise of many fans, he was given a chance to play on the first line with Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He put up five goals and nine points in 14 games in that spot, earning him a one-year, one-way contract extension worth $800,000. “It felt good [to be back in the NHL],”

Rattie told Condors TV.

"“It might sound weird, but I was kind of proud of myself the way I played. And just proving to myself that I can be there every day and I can be a contributing player in the NHL.”"

Patrick Maroon 2.0

When the Edmonton Oilers acquired Patrick Maroon from the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 29, 2016, in a trade for prospect Martin Gernat and a fourth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft (Jack Kopacka), most Oilers fans viewed it as a move to add some size and depth in the bottom six. Instead, Maroon became a regular on the top line for the following two years.

Maroon put up eight goals and 14 points in 16 games with Oilers on a line with McDavid down the stretch run in 2015-16. This past season, Rattie put up similar numbers to Maroon in the final month of the season and could find himself on the top line alongside McDavid when the Oilers open the 2018-19 season in Sweden on Oct. 6.

There is no guarantee that Rattie will match Maroon’s 27 goals from 2016-17, but if he sticks with two elite passers in McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins for 70 or more games, the expectation should be for him tally 20.

Value Contract

With McDavid and Leon Draisaitl set to earn a combined $21 million for the next seven years, the Edmonton Oilers are going to need productive players on value contracts, like Rattie, to fill out their roster. The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins have nine players on their 23-man roster making less than $1 million a year.

With their four highest paid players earning a combined $32.25 million a year, value contracts have made it possible for the Penguins to capture multiple championships in the salary cap era. Jake Guentzel scored more than 20 goals in each of the last two seasons and carried a cap hit; a low cap hit of $734,167.

So, Oilers fans should be thrilled if Rattie can be a Guentzel-type player for Edmonton.