Don’t worry hockey fans the NHL entry draft is quickly approaching and we’re here today to break down another top prospect ahead of the draft. Today we’re taking a look at Nick Ritchie of the Peterborough Petes.
Are you looking for a very larger forward with scoring production, then Nick Ritchie is your man in this years draft. Ritchie uses all of his 6 foot 3 frame to his benefit and plays with a nasty chip to his game. He’s the next generation of power-forward heading to the NHL and has all the tools to be a stellar top 6 forward.
Ritchie had phenomenal OHL season scoring 39 goals and adding 74 points while racking up 136 penalty minutes on the year leading into the draft. Ritchie likes to finish his checks and take the puck to net as much as possible and is truly a player to watch out for on the ice. He’s been held back slightly because of injuries over the last few seasons but has tons of room for growth and is sure to be a force to be reckoned with along the boards. If the right team drafts him and gets him on a conditioning plan to keep him healthy, he could be a key contributor much like a Milan Lucic.
What A Team Will Get If They Draft Him
Tough and quick, he is a good playmaker and scorer. Strong on the forecheck and in the battle areas. 200lber with great size, good on-ice vision soft mitts, quick release and natural goal scoring instincts.”
Any team that drafts Nick Ritchie is going to get a very skilled and large power-forward who loves to mix it up against the board and through his weight around. However, he also knows how to put the puck in the back of the net with his astonishingly quick wrist shot that leaves goalies frozen in time. When he is on his game look out, Ritchie is a monstrosity that wrecks havoc on opposing defences and goaltenders.
Not only does he have a stellar and lethal shot, he’s fantastic at out muscling opponents in front of the net to put home those pesky little rebounds. Between his shot, his rebound finding and his physical game, Nick Ritchie is the complete forward package. He also uses his size to create open ice for himself and his teammates both in open ice and along the boards. His size and weight may be a little scary coming in at 230 pounds, however he isn’t just a slug out there. No Ritchie can hold his own and lead a rush across a blue line which is a very special brand of player.
If take Nick Ritchie, you’re going to get a character guy who produces night in and night out. If he can curb his injuries, he’ll do just fine in the NHL.
His Most Underrated Skill
Despite being 6 foot 3 and around 230 pounds, Nick Ritchie is an extremely agile and quick forward. He has a very powerful stride which he uses to create ice time for himself and his teammates while leading the rush and being a force on the boards. He’s amazingly quick and surprisingly light on his feet. While he may not be the quickest guy in his draft class, he has a great first stride and solid breakaway speed.
He’s going to win plenty of puck battles and races just because of his large and intimidating size. If you need a strong forechecker who is quick on his feet and lead a rush then Nick Ritchie is your man.
What He Needs To Work On
The two areas of Nick Ritchie’s game that need improving are consistency and a control of emotions. He hasn’t been able to be consistent night after night lately and a large part of that has been due to injury which should concern a few teams. One night he a tremendous power forward barging down the ice, other nights it’s like he’s a 5 foot 1 kid out on the ice.
Second of all Ritchie needs to work on controlling his emotions and knowing when exactly to fight over not fighting. He racks up a few too many penalties night after night and considering the NHL is moving away from the fighting scene. If he wants to be successful in the NHL he needs to focus on being physical but not fighting.