Last year, forward Aatu Räty’s name seemed destined to follow that of Alexis Lafrenière as the first overall pick in the 2021 draft. In a year, things have changed and not necessarily for the better in the case of the Finnish.
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Two years ago, at the age of 16, Räty made a sensational entry into the under-20 squad of Oulu Kärpät, collecting 31 points in 41 games. At that time, we saw on the horizon another gifted Finnish in the line of Patrik Laine, Kaapo Kakko or Jesperi Kotkaniemi.
Last season, however, did not go the way he would have liked. With the same Under-20 schedule, he was unable to move up a gear, finishing with a meager two goals and 19 assists for 21 points in 31 games. The 2019-2020 season at least allowed the Finn to set foot in professional hockey, since the big club called on him in 12 games in which he accumulated four points.
So we couldn’t wait to see if last year was just a mistake.
Already at its peak?
“He’s going to have to increase his level of play this year and find a way to play well in international tournaments. We’re starting to have the feeling of a guy who has leveled off and has not continued to progress as he could have. It is certain that he will be followed with attention this year, ”noted a recruiter from the West at the start of the season.
So far, the results are not convincing.
In six games for the Oulu pro team, he had two goals, as he added seven points in eight games for the Under-20s. His sawtooth performances even forced the Finnish team, which will participate in the World Junior Hockey Championship, in Edmonton, from December 25, to exclude it from its roster. However, he was part of the selection last year.
“It’s a difficult start to the season for me. I didn’t play very well and I’m not getting much ice time. I think it’s part of the process. At the next level, I may have to start playing little and I will have to force the hand of the coaches. However, I will not hide that I am not used to having a secondary role and not playing a lot. But I don’t consider that I deserve more right now, it’s up to me to prove that I deserve to play more, ”he said in an interview with The newspaper.
The 6’1 ”, 187lb center player doesn’t hide it, however: he intends to prove that he deserves to be back at the top of the recruiting list.
“That’s my goal this season. I want to do well and play the best that I can. On the other hand, I don’t think I should place unnecessary pressure on my shoulders. “
Kärpät d’Oulu (SM-Liiga)
Photo courtesy, Karpat Oulu
Forward Aatu Räty was unable to carve out a place for Finland’s junior squad.
Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Bobr Times, Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7116