“Flyers Prospect Watch” is a new segment from the Philly Sports Network providing a brief snapshot of a CHL, College, or European player within the Philadelphia Flyers farm system discussing his recent progress or regressions.
Whenever you throw on a Guelph Storm game or watch the highlights, there is one player that always stands out more than any other. It used to be simply because of his 6’6″ frame. However, since the 2017-18 OHL regular season, Isaac Ratcliffe has put the hockey world on notice with his production on the ice.
The former Flyers second-round pick saw a 14-point increase in his numbers last season, going from 54 point year in 2016-17 to 68 points in 2017-18. What was most astounding about last season was Ratcliffe posted 41 goals, establishing himself as a real offensive threat in the Ontario Hockey League.
So far this season, it appears as though Ratcliffe has not missed a beat. He has six goals in as many games and ranks ninth amongst OHL players in points with ten. Additionally, he is proving to be an asset in both areas of special teams. Ratcliffe established himself as a force to be reckoned with on the powerplay last season but is already showing that he can use those offense abilities on the penalty kill as well. His short-handed goal against the Flint Firebirds was impressive enough to be awarded Play of the Night for Saturday, October 6th.
— Guelph Storm (@Storm_City) October 7, 2018
On top of pulling off the play of the night Saturday, he was also crowned the OHL’s third star of the week. He had a goal and two assists in Guelph’s 6-2 victory against Flint.
What to Watch for
Ratcliffe’s size and skill make him one of the more intriguing prospects within the Flyers system. The fact that he does not simply rely on staying in front of the net to produce points makes him different than other players with size. He is continuing to put on muscle which will silence the critics who claimed he was too lanky.
One area Ratcliffe must continue to work on is protecting the puck. Stripping the puck away from him still looks a little too easy at this point. Of course, it’s great to have a ton of skill. However, it won’t mean much if the opposition can steal the puck with ease. If Ratcliffe can correct the flaws in his game while continuing to improve on his strengths, he could become a very valuable asset for Philadelphia at the NHL level.
Guelph plays in three games this weekend against the Owen Sound Attack, Sarnia Sting, and the London Knights.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports