Flyers Prospect Watch: Isaac Ratcliffe is determined to break into the NHL “Nothing is going to stop me…”

Isaac Ratcliffe
Isaac Ratcliffe talks with representatives from the Philadelphia Flyers after being selected by the team during the second round of the NHL hockey draft, Saturday, June 24, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go.” The Philadelphia Flyers are hoping Christmas comes early for them in a few years. It’s no secret the Flyers have been searching for answers with secondary scoring here as of late. Hopefully, in a few years it will be a thing of the past.

With the likes of Oskar Lindblom, German Rubtsov, Mike Vecchione, and Danick Martel. This young Flyers team is loaded with young talent, who are chomping at the bit to get a shot with the big club. Let’s not forget young prospects like Morgan Frost and Isaac Ratcliffe. These young budding stars are loaded to the gills with offensive fire power.

Getting back to the 6′ 6”, 201 pounder, in Ratcliffe. He’s loaded with offensive fire power, and he could be what the doctor ordered to help cure their secondary scoring woes in the future. Ratcliffe couldn’t be happier to be a Flyer, and he seems destined to fulfill his dream of playing in the NHL.

 

1. How did it feel to hear your name get called by the Flyers at 2017 NHL Draft? How does it feel to be a member of the Flyers organization?

“My family is pretty excited to see where I started, to where I’m at now. They’re more excited than I am I think (Laughing). First of all hearing my name get called was a feeling like no other. I’ve been waiting for that feeling since I was five years old. You always watch on T.V, and you look up to those players. I was lucky enough to get picked there. That feeling I will never forget. I blacked out there for a second there, it didn’t feel real. It took a couple of days for everything to kick in.” 

“Especially to go to a team like Philadelphia. It’s a great organization. To be here and to be in my shoes now, to go through camp. Every opportunity they have given me thus far, I couldn’t be more excited for.”

 

2. What player characteristics do you bring to the table? For instance, hardworking in off season, focusing more on skating, a good puck handler, etc.?

Obviously skating is the biggest part for me with being a bigger guy. That’s a knock on me, and the thing I have to focus on the most. But, other than that I’m just trying to get stronger. I’m still a young kid, and still have a long way to go. To try to make that jump soon is a huge step for me, and I know it’s going to take a lot of work. Skating is going to be the biggest part. Whether, it’s my shot or my hockey sense, kind of slowing my game down with knowing where to be on the ice that would definitely help for sure.”

 

3. Do you have any rituals or beliefs that you on game day or before a game for that matter. It could be you call your family if their not in attendance, pray to God, have strong family values etc?

I like to keep my routine the same before every game. Whether, it’s going to the rink every morning to get a nice stretch in, or getting on the bike for awhile. A few hours before the game having a good meal, and then getting back to the rink a little early to get my legs moving before the game.”

 

4. The past 2 seasons for the Storm, you have gotten better each season in different areas from watching you play. You are absolutely killing it. You have really become a solid Forward. It shows you have a good hockey IQ. Have you changed the way you train in the off season, or have you worked on different parts of your game hoping to get better?
Not necessarily. Not too many things I change in the off-season. I’m starting to become an older guy at the gym I work out at. I’m getting to show my skills and improve my skills with higher end guys. Being on the ice with other pro players, as well, is a big part of it. I’m taking a few pages out of their book. Last year I took a big step, and I’m hoping to take another big step this year.”
 
5. The Storm are well known for their hockey program. What were some of your goals coming into your third season for them?
“We’ve had a rough couple of years in the past few years I’ve been here. I think coming into this year, throughout the draft process. I’m kind of marking my name with the Philadelphia Flyers. My goal now is to start working on personable things, as well, but start winning in this organization. We put together a team here at the Guelph Storm that’s a contender for the year, and it’s really starting to come around. Guys aren’t focusing on themselves.”
“We talk about teams want winners, and you’re not going to have personable success without team success. So, we’re focusing on that first.”
6. Who helped define you into the hockey player you are today?
“There’s not one person that I can point out. I’ve had plenty of coaches over the years, who have gotten me in the right direction, and a lot of them who have been in the same shoes I was growing up. Whether, it be my first coach in the OHL Paul Stewart or my last coach in Minor hockey Steve Benedetti. Those two guys there were big for me getting in and getting use to the OHL itself.”
“And then my coach last year Jarrod Skalde was huge. They really defined and showed me what it’s going to take to get to the next level. Even a guy that I worked with a ton in the past three years at Guelph my assistant coach. A guy that’s driven me, and that’s kept my confidence high. He really pulled me what to do on a day to day basis on the ice, and in the community.”
 
7. What player did idolize for hockey when you were growing up?
“My favorite player growing up and a guy I try to model my game after was Rick Nash. Watching him  when he played mostly for Team Canada, when you saw him in the olympics. A guy that’s big like myself. He really knows how to use his body. He wasn’t always the fastest player on the ice, but he never showed it. Whether, the puck is going up and down the wall, or whether it’s behind the net. He would be able to get out of those battles quick and get to the net. It’s a guy that marked his territory right in around the net…that thirty foot perimeter. His shot was unbelievable coming down off the wing. He used his body, and hands to kind of maneuver around people was unbelievable to. It’s a guy I try to model my game after, and really take some things away from him, and use it in my game.”
 
8. What’s your favorite food?
“Lasagna. Growing up that was always my favorite (Laughing). Not the best pre-game meal, but have to make it work somehow.”
 
9. Lastly, what can Flyers fans expect from you as a player after you complete your tenure for the Storm? Message to the fans of Philadelphia.
“I mean I just want to tell them what they expect of me now. I’m going to bring exactly that, and even more. My work ethic is going to be through the roof in these next couple of years, and I’m going to do whatever I can to play for the Flyers. Really move that organization into a top spot, as well. I want to be the best player I can. Nothing is going to stop me on my way there.”
This young budding prospect in Ratcliffe is on a scoring tear early in the season for the Storm. He currently has 13 goals, and 11 assists for a total of 24 points in 27 games played this season. Ratcliffe is a big forward that knows how to find the back of the net. He is on pace to be a heck of a forward for the Flyers in the future. One thing is certain Flyers fans, the future is bright in Flyer land.
Mandatory Photo Credit: AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

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