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Islanders 2021 NHL Draft steal: Aatu Raty 52nd overall

SECAUCUS, NEW JERSEY - JULY 23: A general view of the draft board from the first round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft at the NHL Network studios on July 23, 2021 in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
SECAUCUS, NEW JERSEY - JULY 23: A general view of the draft board from the first round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft at the NHL Network studios on July 23, 2021 in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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With the 52 overall pick at the 2021 NHL draft, the New York Islanders selected, from Liiga side Karpat, Aatu Raty. If that name sounds familiar it’s because this kid was seen as a first overall selection a while back.

And Lou Lamoriello got him in the late second round with the 52nd overall pick (a pick acquired from the Nick Leddy trade to Detroit). This pick could easily turn into the steal of the draft.

New York Islanders get the possible steal of the 2021 draft

Aatu Raty (pronounced Ah-t-u R-ah-t-u). I made sure I got that pronunciation right when I spoke to him earlier today. Raty didn’t have a great 2020-21 NHL season. In 35 games, Raty put up seven points (four goals and three helpers). He also averaged 11:38 of ice time playing for Karpat.

Those numbers don’t scream excellent, but remember that Raty was once considered a possible first overall for the 2021 NHL Draft. It was some time ago, but still, he has top-end talent.

Raty can play either wing and down the middle (he prefers to play center). He has incredible creativity, great hands, and is a tireless worker. There’s a ton to like in Raty games. There’s a definite risk with this pick. Anytime someone falls as much as Aatu Raty does you have to wonder why that is. But there’s also a ton of upside here.

Raty didn’t forget how to play. He can easily bounce back to where he was just a few years ago. And if he does, the New York Islanders could have found an elite-level player with the 52nd overall pick of the draft.

If you’re interested to scope out the Isles second-round pick, you can follow him as he and Team Finland play in the Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Michigan. Their first game is later today (5 PM EST) against Team Sweden (fellow Isles prospect Alexander Ljungkrantz will also be playing).

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