The newest member of the New York Islanders Aatu Raty is off to a good start. Just hours after being drafted by the New York Islanders, Raty scored four goals for Finland in their World Juniors Summer Showcase game against Sweden on Saturday afternoon.
The Finnish forward scored all but one of his team’s goals in their 5-2 victory. Raty had two goals by the end of the first period and added one at 18:39 of the second period and 18:12 of the third.
“Four goals, great hands,” NHL Draft and Prospects analyst Chris Peters told NYI Hockey Now of Raty’s performance. “High-end plays. He made some pro plays. His skating is only ok, but he was competing today and showing good strength. He also had a penalty shot that he actually missed on. So it could have been five goals. It’s the best I’ve seen him play in a while. Take it with a grain of salt because it is summer hockey, but he was dialed in.”
The performance was certainly music to the Islanders’ ears, who selected him with the 52nd overall pick in the NHL Draft on Saturday. The team had been surprised that he was still available when they made their first pick of the 2021 draft.
Raty was once thought to be a top 10 pick in the draft, but a rough 2020-21 season in Liiga with Karpat changed perception on him for many draft experts.
Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello was made aware of Raty’s first two goals by a team PR staffer during their final selection on Saturday. Understandably Lamoriello was very pleased to hear to the news.
“That made our scouts feel pretty good. We’re extremely pleased with that pick,” Lamoriello said on a conference call after the draft was finished.
As Peters noted, the excitement from Raty’s performance on Saturday should come with some restraint. Still that’s a heck of a way to make a first impression on your new team.