A lot of attention for the Philadelphia Flyers seems to focus on their second overall pick in the upcoming NHL Draft on June 23, 2017. However, the Draft is never that simple..and the Flyers could possibly looking to trade up for a young stud to select late in the first-round. Meet Left Wing Isaac Ratcliffe, who currently plays for the Guelph Storm. After recently conducting a phone interview with this young classy prospect, it’s easy to see why any NHL team would be willing to part with some assets to sign him.
Ratcliffe was born on February 15, 1999, in London, ON, CAN. He began playing hockey at a young age, and his love for the sport found himself playing for the Guelph Storm for the 2015-16 season. He endured quite a season registering 5 goals, and 8 assists for a total of 13 points in 46 games. After this so-so season, Ratcliffe worked his tail off in the off season.
“I worked hard, very hard. I’m a driven player. On and off the ice I work hard. I wanted to become a big winger that moves well down the ice and could use his body to get to the net.”
The young 18 year old prospect, Ratcliffe worked hard in the off season to improve his game. His hard work paid off in a big way, as he enjoyed a career year for the Guelph Storm in 2016-17. He registered 28 goals, and 26 assists for 54 points in 67 games played. This really solidified his status for the upcoming NHL Draft. One would expect his nerves to be through the roof with being on the cusp of the NHL. However, Ratcliffe offers a different point of view.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling. It’s what I have been working towards my whole life, and it’s been a dream of mine ever since I can remember. It hasn’t truly kicked in yet, knowing that it’s the beginning to come true. My family has supported me all through this journey to get here, and they provided me every tool that I’ve needed. I can’t thank them enough for that.”
Ratcliffe continued to say, “When I began playing hockey, like any kid it was for fun. I watched the OHL and NHL hockey, and never thought that one day I could be on the other side of the screen or the other side of the glass playing. Of course, growing up in Canada it’s every young players fantasy to grow up playing in the NHL. It’s amazing to think that it may become a reality in my future.”
Ratcliffe enjoys simple things in life like Lasagna and Pasta.it’s this simplicity that is reflected in his game. He has really good hands, and his skating is just as smooth. So, just who is responsible for his success? His answer really shows his inner self.
“My parents have developed me into who I am today. They have given me every tool and opportunity that I could ever even dream of. They are the reason I’m here today. Before each game I like to talk to my parents. It seems like a sense of love and support that my family has for me, and it pushes me to work harder every day to make sure I make them proud of myself as well.”
The Guelph Storm product continued, “All of my past coaches and mentors. They have developed me as a player. They really have shown me how to be a hockey player, on and off the ice.”
If you saw Ratcliffe play for the Guelph Storm last season, one would have noticed instantly that his hockey IQ vastly improved from the prior year. He had a knack of knowing where to be, or where his teammates were on the ice at all times. His success was fueled by his dedication for the game.
“I am a hard working player on and off the ice, with my big frame. There are a few parts of my game I’ll need to improve such as my skating, and my strength. But, along with that I think I can bring a strong offensive mindset to the table, along with a full stable, defensive structure as well.”
The Flyers are very much in need of left wingers. Ratcliffe may be the answer to their prayers. He’s a gifted young prospect that has what it takes to be a Flyer. Just listen to this message from Ratcliffe, “I’ll prove myself every single day with how I play on the ice and how I act off it as well. If you have faith in me as a player, I will push myself every single day to be the best I can be.”
He will definitely be on the Flyers radar, and trading up to select Ratcliffe might be the Flyers first trade at the draft. His passion for the game could have instant ramifications in the Flyers locker room.
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Image by: Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images