“He was definitely my first call,” Rattie said. “He drove me to practice. He coached the teams. He did everything. I can’t say enough good things about what he did for my career. Those calls that you make after you sign deals like that, those are the calls that put a smile on your face.”
Rattie’s parents, Rob and Shauna, remain his biggest supporters. They were watching every shift as Rattie put up nine points in the Oilers final 12 games.
Rattie, who had been called up from the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors, found himself on a line with Connor Mcdavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for most of those games.
“Over the first two games, I started to learn you just can’t crowd him (McDavid). When he has the puck, you have to just move away. He can beat guys himself. Most guys in the league, you need to support. With McDavid, you have to spread out,” explained Rattie.
In his year-end news conference last week, Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli called Rattie “a very cerebral player. He moves the puck well.”
However, Chiarelli added: “We delayed bringing him up. His defensive game, for the longest time in Bakersfield, struggled.”
“I was in a top offensive role and maybe you start to cheat a little bit more than you should,” said Rattie on his time with the Condors. “I’ve gotten better with my defensive game. I know I can do it. I just have to do it game-in and game-out.”
Rattie, 25, will make $800,000 next season. With just 49 NHL games under his belt, he hopes 2018/19 is the one where he becomes a full-time NHLer.
“I want to be in Edmonton, and I want to play for the Oilers,” said Rattie.
One thing is for sure, his parents will be watching every game.
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