Weight: 195 pounds
Date of birth: February 15, 1999
Hometown: London, Ontario
Position: Left Wing
OHL Draft: Round 1, 15th overall, 2015 Priority Selection
Playing Minor Midget AAA for the London Jr Knights during the 2014-2015 season, Isaac Ratcliffe opened some eyes with his 22 goals and 27 assists in 32 games. The Guelph Storm called his name in the first round of the 2015 Priority Selection making him the fifteenth overall pick.
He’s played at the OHL Cup and the OHL Gold Cup, and he represented Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17.
Ratcliffe’s rookie Ontario Hockey League season saw him score 5 goals and 8 assists while only playing in 46 of the Storm’s 68 games. He missed over 20 games with an ankle injury, but it was a strong second half where he received increase ice time in the top six along with powerplay time that you got the sense that he be successful at the junior level.
Halfway through his draft year, Ratcliffe leads the Storm in goals (17) and points (31) and sits second in assists (14). He also sits second in powerplay goals (3) and game winning goals (2). But the most impressive stat is Ratcliffe leads the team with a plus 16, well ahead of Givani Smith’s plus 7. What is impressive about that is that the Storm are a minus 28 as a team.
First and foremost, people will look at Ratcliffe’s size. He has somewhat of a mean streak and doesn’t shy away from physicality. The size and strength he possesses makes him a force. When he sets up shop in front of the opposition net, there are very few that can contend with him, not to mention giving goaltenders fits trying to see around him. But he also has excellent hand-eye coordination and is excellent at deflecting shots. His reach and his strength allows him to pounce on rebounds and loose pucks.
Ratcliffe is also a good skater, somewhat deceptive. He plays a straight-line game going up and down his wing. He’s not afraid to carry the puck and protects it well, with a willingness to drive the net. He’s also a good playmaker. But it wouldn’t be fair to call him more of a playmaker than a shooter or vice versa at this point. However, if he feels he doesn’t have a shot, or a teammate is in a better position, he’ll look for the pass. It’s almost surprising, when you look at him, that he has very soft hands.
Ratcliffe’s hockey sense is above average. He realizes his strengths, how to attack and when to attack and how to use his teammates. He uses that hockey sense at both ends of the rink. Finding consistency at this level is something most kids have to deal with, and Ratcliffe is no different.
This is the profile page of Isaac Ratcliffe at http://www.eliteprospects.com