The St. Louis Blues' recent rash of injuries will give one of the team’s top prospects another opportunity to show what he can do at the NHL level.
“He’s got to look at this as a terrific opportunity that he’s gonna take advantage of,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters following Monday’s practice. “It’s a position, right wing, is where we’ve missed a couple guys, especially with (Magnus) Paajarvi going down, and Rats has got to take advantage of this opportunity because it’s a great one.”
Stastny, a center, is considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Paajarvi is week-to-week with his upper-body injury. In addition to those two, the Blues were already without injured forwards Jaden Schwartz and Steve Ott and recently released veteran forward Scott Gomez.
Rattie, 22, said his call-up back to the Blues is exciting.
“I think anytime you get to play in the NHL it’s a great opportunity and I’m happy to be here and looking forward to it,” he told reporters.
A second-round draft pick by the Blues in 2011, Rattie recorded two points (two assists) in five games with the team earlier this season while averaging just 8:53 minutes of ice time per game.
“Rattie was fantastic, I thought, while he was up,” Blues captain David Backes told reporters.
The young forward has four points, all assists, and a plus-minus rating of -3 in 18 career NHL games over the past three seasons, including 11 games a year ago.
“I’m just trying to be consistent and be the consistent player and trying to get back up here as quick as I can,” he said.
Rattie has been a productive player for the Wolves in the American Hockey League over the past three seasons.
He had 48 points (31 goals, 17 assists) in 72 regular-season games in 2013-14, 42 points (21 goals, 21 assists) in 59 regular-season games in 204-15 and has 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 29 games this season.
The challenge, going forward, is Rattie showing he can be a consistent contributor for the Blues at the next level.
“That’s the thing I have to prove, I think,” he said. “Whenever I go down I have to work on my consistency and bringing that game in and game out. So I have to come up here and I have to play that consistent game and play that two-way game.”