New York Islanders prospect Aatu Raty was not present at training camp on Thursday. Head coach Barry Trotz confirmed that the 52nd overall pick from 2021 had been returned to Finland to continue his development with Karpat of Liiga.
“That was the plan all along,” said Trotz about the decision to send Raty back to Finland. “He had a really good camp, and we are really happy with him.”
Through two preseason games, Aatu Raty accumulated two shots and three hits in a total of 31:25 minutes but didn’t find the back of the net. Despite that, he certainly stood out as one of the best young prospects at camp.
Islanders’ management wanted to ensure that Raty had ample time to return to Finland before the beginning of Karpat’s season. After bouncing from Karpat’s Under 20 club to the main club over the last two seasons, Räty will look to be a steady offensive producer this year.
The goal is for Raty to get back to the game that had him projected as a top pick before the drop-off in production over the last two seasons.
Throughout camp, Trotz elected to play the young centerman with NHL talent. In the first preseason game, Raty was slotted alongside Kieffer Bellows and Leo Komarov and did some good things throughout the game.
After earning the opportunity to play in the second preseason game, Raty was given more offensive weapons as he centered Anthony Beauvillier and Kyle Palmieri.
Beauvillier spoke about Raty and his game following the 3-2 overtime win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.
“Really good player. Understands the game really well,” said Beauvillier. “Always in good position. Obviously a lot of skill, a lot of poise. It’s kind of rare to see.”
While putting the latest draftee with veteran players may have been a test early in camp, Trotz had no problem keeping him with the NHL mainstays.
“He’s got a very competitive edge,” said Trotz after the 4-0 win against the New York Rangers on Sunday. “He’s strong. He makes good decisions and he’s got a real good skill set.”
Trotz added that Aatu Raty reminds him of Zach Parise, one of the Islanders’ newest members, who has a reputation around the NHL as being one of the hardest workers there is.
“He’s just a really good hockey player,” Trotz added.
At just 19-years old, Raty has time to develop.
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