#FreeRäty has been making the rounds on Twitter for weeks now thanks to New York Islanders fans. The hashtag is in direct response to prospect Aatu Räty’s limited game time with Liiga club Kärpät.
Since returning to Finland from the Islanders 2021-22 training camp, Räty has played in six of a possible eleven games. That’s just not enough. In order to develop, a prospect needs to be playing more than 50% of the games.
On Saturday, it was reported that the Islanders prospect will be moving to a new Liiga club. A club that should give him that consistent ice time.
New York Islanders prospect Aatu Räty moving teams
My sources can confirm this report. Räty will be moving from Karpat to Jukurit in the very near future. Meaning Islanders fans are getting exactly what they want for their top prospect; playing time.
This is a parallel move for Räty who’s moving from one Liiga (top Finnish league) to another Liiga squad. Of course, Kärpät is a top-end side in the Finnish league while Jukurit is in the bottom half of the league (10th).
Although over the last five games, Jukurit has fared much better with a 3-2-0 record to Kärpät’s 1-3-1 record. But, to be fair, the record doesn’t matter, not for Islanders fans of course.
What they want to see is that their player is playing consistently, and with Jukurit he’ll get that chance for consistent game time. Räty should play every night under new head coach Olli Jokinen (yes, that Ollie Jokinen). Whether that’s in a top-six or bottom-six role remains to be seen.
This is a big win for the Islanders. Räty was back in Finland, on loan, to see out the remainder of his Liiga contract. But his lack of not just playing time, but game time, was becoming a big problem. There’s no way Räty could develop or progress as a player with such little ice time. A move was necessary.
It’s safe to say the Islanders, their fans, and even the player are very pleased about this development.