It’s his first extension. Ratcliffe signed his entry-level contract in August 2017, sliding his first two seasons. He made his NHL debut on January 29th, 2022, in a 4-3 overtime win against the Los Angeles Kings. Ratcliffe appeared in ten games during the 2021-2022 season.
His career high minutes played is 14:24 versus the St. Louis Blues. He remained true to his grinding, physical style during the game, pacing against an eventual playoff team.
A second-round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Ratcliffe was effective in his bottom-six role. Of course, a second-round selection usually projects higher than a bottom-six role, but the Flyers are just scratching the surface. On a physical line with Zack MacEwen, Ratcliffe consistently impressed.
In 2021-2022, Ratcliffe tallied four points (1G, 3A) in ten games. His first recorded NHL point, a goal, didn’t happen how he imagined it would. MacEwen put a shot on goal, using Ratcliffe as traffic. The puck deflected off of his pants, scoring against the Detroit Red Wings. Following the game, Ratcliffe said:
“I don’t think any of the times I drew it up it was going off my pants.”Isaac Ratcliffe; 2/9/2022
A Flyers Focus
For most of the games Ratcliffe appeared, Philadelphia kept close to their opponents. The Flyers were 3-5-2 when Ratcliffe played. Two of those regulation losses included an opposing empty-net goal, extending a one-goal lead late in the third period.
Routinely, Ratcliffe performed like a solid NHL fourth-liner. He won a fair amount of puck battles in his short time with the big club, earning another contract. Ratcliffe said he feels more confident in the NHL because he knows his teammates are in the right spots, helping his game.
“I finally got an opportunity up here when I was at my peak, I think, down there. When you come out onto the ice with these big guys, everyone is always in the right spot. It’s hard to make a mistake when everyone’s kind of doing the right thing out there.”Isaac Ratcliffe; 2/21/2022
Ratcliffe in 2022-2023
MacEwen filing for arbitration does throw a small wrench into the lineup. Nicolas Deslauriers would move to RW if Philadelphia and MacEwen are no more. Patrick Brown likely stays in the middle on the fourth line. Pending on cap space, Ratcliffe will battle with Max Willman for the 4LW role.
Once Joel Farabee returns from injury, it’ll force Willman or Ratcliffe out of the Flyers’ lineup. Ratcliffe likely spends most of next season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Keep an eye on the waiver wire, where Ratcliffe could draw attention if he makes the lineup with Philadelphia before reassignment to the AHL once Farabee returns.
(Photo by Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)