The third player taken in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks, Mike Rathje uses his size and extensive reach to ward off opponents to good effect. He also knows how to control the hot spots in his own defensive zone through excellent positioning. A member of Canada's gold medal World Junior team in 1993, Rathje had a successful junior career with the WHL Medicine Hat Tigers.
Rathje put in three successful seasons with the Medicine Hat where he was a two-time WHL Second Team All-Star (1992-1993) and CHL Second Team All-Star (1993)before turning pro with the Sharks' organization in 1993-94.
His first three campaigns were on-the-job-training ventures marked by steady progress. During this phase, Rathje developed a solid foundation as a steady defensive defenceman while splitting his time between the Sharks and the Kansas City Blades of the IHL.
Rathje became a full-time NHLer in 1996. The hulking defenceman has been an instrumental part of San Jose's defensive core, who can carry the puck and uses his size and strength to take the body and work the boards. In 2002-03, Rathje broke out offensively and established career highs in goals (7), assists (22) and points (29) while playing in all 82 regular season games.
After 11 seasons with the Sharks, Rathje joined the Philadelphia Flyers in the summer of 2005.