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Flyers Trade Struggling Left Winger to Nashville Predators

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Isaac Ratcliffe, Philadelphia Flyers
Isaac Ratcliffe (left), shown in a file photo with Morgan Frost, was traded to the Nashville Predators late Sunday. Photo: Zack Hill.

The Philadelphia Flyers sent a big left winger to the Nashville Predators late Sunday night.

No, it wasn’t James van Riemsdyk, though he is probably the next player general manager Chuck Fletcher will deal.

The left winger Fletcher dealt was enigmatic minor-leaguer Isaac Ratcliffe. He was dealt to the Predators for future considerations.

Ratcliffe, 24, showed promise when the Flyers recalled him last season, collecting four points (goal, three assists) and playing with physicality in his 10-game stint.

“Ratty embraced that physical, big-boy game when he got called up,” Phantoms coach Ian Laperriere said before this season. “He’s got the right mindset. He got a little taste of the NHL and he wants to make sure he’s giving himself the best chance to make it to the next level — and stay there.”

Struggling season

This season, however, Ratcliffe regressed with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and was frequently a healthy scratch. He went unclaimed as he passed through waivers to be sent to Lehigh Valley during training camp.

In 26 games with the Phantoms this season, the 6-foot-6, 225-pound Ratcliffe had just four points (two goals, two assists).

He spent most of the 2021-22 season with the Phantoms and had 28 points in 59 games.

In 2017, Ratcliffe was drafted in the second round (No. 35 overall) by then-general manager Ron Hextall. He was chosen four picks ahead of left winger Jason Robertson, who has become a scoring machine with the Dallas Stars. He has 35 goals this season.

Hextall traded up nine spots with Arizona and gave up second-, third- and fourth-round picks to get Ratcliffe.

As for Fletcher, he is expected to have a busy week. The Flyers have fallen out of the playoff race and are in sell mode. The trade deadline is Friday at 3 p.m.

The Philadelphia Flyers figure to get a second- or third-round pick for van Riemsdyk, 33, who is rated as one of the top forwards available on TSN’s trade board.

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