Playing 68 games and only winning 21, One could assume that the OHL’s Guelph Storm didn’t really have a whole lot to discuss in terms of draftable prospects.
Isaac Ratcliffe thought differently.
A 6’5 power forward, Ratcliffe was the second-highest scorer for a rebuilding squad, featuring hard to knock off the puck poise a relentless work ethic, played nearly every situation they could throw at him (and since they were bad they had him do a lot), and lethal offensively right in front of goaltenders, his shot with little space being scarily accurate and his hands being silky smooth.
He played well enough to have the ex-coach of the Storm singing his praises and especially drawing attention to how much he put forward for a team in comparison to veterans who might not have been pulling their weight as much as they wanted.
Of course, when you’re this big in hockey, the concern is always going to be skating, which he did end up doing quite well to improve this season, but it’s still a work in progress that could really kill his effectiveness in a league that’s just getting faster. It’ll probably be the major focus he works towards next year.
Another concern is that he’s still got a bit of meat to put on those bones, but that’s one of those things OHL/AHL/NHL conditioning coaches tend to figure out how to do pretty well.
But the other thing that ended up causing trouble for himself and Guelph was...Penalties. During the Top Prospects game he played well, getting a goal...but he also found himself getting called for all sorts of boneheaded stick penalties, for example. His PIM ballooned for the Storm, going up by over twice the amount last year. Discipline will have to be a point of emphasis for his next season.
Ratcliffe is projected as a project pick for the next few years, projecting to be a middle six winger for the first round. And with wing being kind of a need the Bruins would like to get filled, so at 18th overall, he’d be a pretty decent pick.
But it would be done under the reminder that he is a project, like a good portion of this draft. You probably won’t see him in Black and Gold until another 2 to 3 years.
- Ranked #13 by Hockeyprospect.com
- Ranked #22 by ISS Hockey
- Ranked #23 by Future Considerations
- Ranked #18 by McKeen's Hockey
- Ranked #15 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
Position: Left Wing
Weight: 203 lbs.
Isaac Ratcliffe Statlines
|2014-15||London Jr. Knights Mdgt AAA||AHMMPL||32||22||27||49||16|