Flyers Nab Another Underclassman As MSU’s Ratchuk Signs

Michigan State sophomore Michael Ratchuk has signed a professional contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, and will report to the Flyers’ American Hockey League affiliate Philadelphia Phantoms immediately, as announced by the Flyers on Friday afternoon.

Ratchuk, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., and a second-round pick of the Flyers in 2006 (42nd overall), just completed his sophomore season for the Spartans, and will forgo his final two seasons of collegiate eligibility.

“It was really a very tough decision to leave,” said the sophomore before departing for Philadelphia. “Michigan State has been nothing but a positive experience for me, and I have to thank Coach Comley and the rest of the MSU staff for giving me this great opportunity.”

“However, playing professional hockey has been my dream since I was three years old,” continued Ratchuk. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the Flyers organization.”

“We wish Mike well,” said head coach Rick Comley. “We thank him for two years and the success that he has helped bring to our program while he played for us.”

Ratchuk had a breakout offensive season, with six goals and 19 assists, the most goals and points among the defensive corps, which ranked fifth nationally in scoring (2.26 ppg). The blueliner appeared in all 42 games, scored half of his goals on the power play, and helped MSU to a top-10 ranking in scoring defense.

In his two-year career, Ratchuk appeared in 82 games, and had 10 goals and 27 assists for 37 points. He helped the Spartans to the 2007 NCAA title a year ago.

Michigan State’s 2007-08 squad completed its season with a 25-12-5 overall record, and advanced to the NCAA Regional Final for the third straight season.