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Isaac Ratcliffe is a big project with big-time potential

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  • Isaac Ratcliffe is a big project with big-time potential

    Philadelphia Flyers 25 Under 25: Isaac Ratcliffe is a big project with big-time potential

    The tallest forward on the Flyers’ roster, at this moment, is Sean Couturier, who stands at 6’3” per the Flyers’ official website. Nolan Patrick measured in at 6’2” at the combine and, as someone who turns 19 in September, probably has a little bit more growth in him, but the point remains that this team isn’t exactly full of giants. In fact, courtesy of James Mirtle, the Flyers entered last season as the shortest team in the NHL.

    Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The two-time reigning Stanley Cup Champions, whoever the hell those are, were one of the league’s smaller teams in both 2015-16 and 2016-17. And this decade’s best team, the Chicago Blackhawks, have regularly been successful despite not towering over their opponents — they were the second-shortest team in the year of their most recent title. But before we run around suggesting the Flyers ice a team full of 5’11” dudes, let’s not forget that the year prior, one of the league’s biggest teams — the L.A. Kings — took home the Stanley Cup.

    The point is that successful hockey teams come in all shapes and sizes. Each and every year the league is getting faster, younger, and more talented, moreso than it is bigger or smaller. Find the best players whose skills fit the system you want to play and go win some dang hockey games.

    Of course, that’s not to say big, skilled players aren’t rightly coveted by teams around the league. Other talents more or less equal, any team would take a guy at 6’3” over a guy at 5’11”. The player with size and skill remains one of the most appealing players in hockey, the kind that usually gets taken at the top of the draft and that you build a team around. And while the Flyers have added plenty of big, talented defensemen over the past few years (Travis Sanheim, Phil Myers, and Samuel Morin range from 6’4” to 6’7”), their forward ranks haven’t quite seen the same kind of infusion of size.

    This past June, the Flyers took a big swing on a forward in the second round of the draft that they think can be a guy like that. And if what they paid to get Isaac Ratcliffe was any indication, they clearly believe he’s got the potential to be something special.... Full story: (link preview:
    Philadelphia Flyers #1
    Winnipeg Jets a very distant #2
    The rest of the 29 teams can KMA!

  • #2
    I'm really looking forward to seeing this kid's progress over the next few years. I'd love, for once, for us to get a diamond in the rough who becomes a big impact player, a la Rick Tocchet.
    "Perry the Platypus! I swear, of all the aquatic mammals I hang with, you are TRULY the most uncooperative!" - Dr. Doofenshmirtz