When on top of his game, Nick Ritchie is a monstrosity that wrecks havoc on opposing defenses.
Nick Ritchie has battled injuries and consistency issues over his three years in the OHL (late ’95), but Ritchie finally put it all together in the final 3-4 months of the OHL season. Once the Petes acquired Hunter Garlent, they had finally found a playmaker for Nick Ritchie, which simplified things for him and allowed him to really take over games with his physicality and scoring ability.
In the final 29 regular season games of the season, Ritchie had 24 goals. He had a terrific playoffs, too (although was considerably better against Kingston than Oshawa). The goal production is no fluke. On top of overpowering defenders near the crease for garbage goals, Ritchie also possesses one heck of a shot (rated as 3rd best in the East in the coaches poll). Like Dal Colle, he’s great at using his size to create room for himself to use it. When you think of what a solid prospect his brother Brett has become, you have to wonder what Nick is capable of considering he’s the better skater, has a better shot, and is better with the puck. I’ve read comments from people talking negatively about Ritchie, comparing him to some of the failed power forward projects of recent years (guys like Hugh Jessiman).
We’re talking about a 6’3, 230lbs winger who can lead the rush across the blueline. That’s a special player. He’s not a plug. Ritchie has the hands and skill to match everything he’s capable of physically. And we haven’t even talked about how effective he is without the puck, as a steamroller on the forecheck. He hits and he hits hard. Bottom line is you’re looking at a throwback power forward. They don’t make many like this anymore (think Kevin Stevens). Are the consistency issues legitimate? Yes. Does he have some conditioning issues? Likely. But those are very correctable things that can’t overshadow the massive potential (no pun intended) that Ritchie possesses.
- Brock Otten, OHL Prospects
Nick Ritchie Highlights
Nick Ritchie Statistics
|2010-11||Toronto Marlboros Minor Mdgt AAA||GTMMHL||68||50||45||95||119||||
|Canada Ontario U17||WHC-17||3||1||2||3||2||||
|2013-14||Peterborough Petes A||OHL||61||39||35||74||136||4|||||Playoffs||11||5||5||10||24||-5|
It's interesting to me that the OHL Prospects site linked to in the article has top OHL prospects as 1. Ekblad 2. Bennett 3. Fabbri 4. Ritchie 5. Dal Colle.
Wonder if Dal Colle will drop and how high Fabbri will rise.
@arnoldlwleebabylon5 The fact that he was still Canada's best player and was dealing with a shoulder injury that required surgery is even more impressive. Youngest player in the 1st round.