It didn’t take long for the New York Islanders to sign their second-round pick from the 2021 draft Aatu Räty. Late Saturday afternoon, the Islanders officially announced that Räty had agreed to a three-year entry-level contract.
That’s a quick signing for a kid who fell pretty far in the draft. Once considered a possible first-overall caliber player, Räty fell to Isles at 52 overall. Clearly the Islanders like what Räty has to offer and didn’t want to waste any time to get him under contract.
New York Islanders sign Aatu Räty to ELC
The Isles don’t typically sign draftees that quickly after the draft. Since 2015 the Islanders have signed two players within a month of their draft. Those players were: Sebastian Aho and Jakub Skarek.
So since Lou’s been at the helm the Islanders like to take their time signing post-first-round prospects. It’s telling that the Isles were willing to lock up Räty (who’s still under contract for one more year at Kärpät) so quickly.
I’m still trying to confirm if Räty can come over to the AHL this season now that he’s signed to an NHL contract. As far as I’m aware he won’t be able to play in the AHL unless Kärpät doesn’t want him. I believe the Finnish side wants to keep Räty. But again, I’m still trying to confirm this.
Recently I spoke to Antti Pennanen (Finland’s U20 coach), and he spoke about Räty and what happened before his 2021 draft and a few things that contributed to his fall at the draft. All of them seem to be either fixed or can be fixed. Bot hPennanen and assistant coach Mikko Koivu are sure Räty is an NHLer.
Which is why, in my opinion, Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders worked so quickly to get him under contract. Lou and his team feel they have an NHL-caliber player in Räty.
Just after his draft, Räty and his Finnish squad participate in the World Junior Summer Showcase. It’s a three-team (USA, Sweden, Finland) tune-up prior to the World Junior Championships later in the year. Räty lead the tournament with 14 points across six games at the WJSS.