Photo Credit – Oulun Kärpät / Iikka Pirttikoski
Aatu Räty is a 2021 NHL Draft eligible prospect, who hails from Oulunsalo, Finland. Hockey is in his DNA. His father, Tuomo Räty, previously coached the Kärpät U16 club and his brother Aku Räty is an Arizona Coyotes prospect.
Räty has played in the Kärpät system throughout his youth and made his Liiga debut in 2019-2020. He played the majority of the season at the U20 level, but did appear in 12 Liiga games and tallied four points.
Räty was part of the Finnish World Junior Championship roster at the 2020 IIHF World Juniors. He was featured in all seven World Junior games and tallied three points (two goals and one assist). One of his goals at the World Juniors was a highlight-reel goal in which he scored a wrap-around goal against Slovakia.
This past season, Räty spent the majority of his time playing for Kärpät in Liiga play. In 35 games played, he recorded six points (three goals and three assists). He also spent eight games playing U20 hockey for Kärpät, in which he tallied three goals and four assists. While playing for the U20 club, he played alongside a few fellow 2021 NHL Draft eligibles including Ville Koivunen and Samu Tuomaala.
D.O.B – November 24, 2002
Nationality – Finland
Draft Eligibility – 2021
Weight –181 lbs
Position – Center
Handedness – Left
Räty’s Style Of Play
Räty is a menace in the offensive zone. He controls the cycle quite well. If there is a decent amount of traffic in front of Räty, he will opt to make tight turns/pivots to fool his opponents and give himself some more space. When Räty is completing a turn, you can expect his turn radius to be pretty tight. This allows him to dance around his opponent without error.
In addition, Räty has an accurate shot and can deliver throughout the offensive zone. He has a heavy slap shot, with which he can drain shots from the blue line. When he is featured on the power play, he can often be seen along the half wall and will often execute wrist shots once he has a clear opening to the net. Also, his shot will often pave the way for rebound goals. Given how accurate Räty is with his shot, if he feels that he is too far out, but he sees a teammate by the crease, he will deliver a wrist or slap shot to the goaltender’s pads and more than often that will lead to a rebound.
When he is looking to complete a pass, Räty will often utilize a drop pass when he is controlling the cycle, but he will also deliver crisp tape-to-tape slot passing.
Räty seems to always look for the optimal forecheck and puts a tremendous amount of pressure on his opponents, but do not expect Räty to deliver a booming hit. He will not use his body to complete a body-check nor a hip-check. While he is aggressive, Räty will consistently look to swipe the puck away with a poke-check.
When Räty is in transition, he often will not gain possession of the puck until his defensemen have completed a zone exit. When he has possession of the puck in the neutral zone, he will often opt to deliver a zone entry pass rather than carry the puck into the offensive zone himself.
In the defensive zone, he will often park himself in front of his net and look to assert dominance over the forward who is parking himself in the slot. When Räty is not in front of his net, you can often find him out on patrol. Typically, Räty is not a big back-checker, instead he sits back in a “support” or an “insurance” type role. Räty is there to ensure that if his teammate and his opponent get tangled up and loose sight of the puck then he will be able to jump on the puck to secure it.
Let’s move to skating. Räty is fantastic with his crossovers. As I mentioned above, given Räty’s tight turn radius, he can execute robust crossovers to help propel his stride.
Aside from his crossovers, when you watch Räty’s game tape closely, you will see that he has a bit of a heavy foot. Due to his heavy foot, Räty’s speed and edges are not always sound. The good thing is that he is still developing and growing as a hockey player. There is plenty of time for Räty to further develop his skating. Plus, keep in mind that a lot of prospects at 17/18 years of age need improvement with their skating ability.
stats from InStat and EliteProspects
Prospect report written by Josh Tessler. If you would like to follow Josh on Twitter, his handle is @JoshTessler_.
Looking for other scouting reports? Check out the Prospects tab for our other scouting reports.
Need a scouting report on a particular prospect, contact us today!