By John Vogl
Position: Left wing
Junior team: Peterborough (OHL)
Born: Orangeville, Ont.
Measurables: 6-foot-2, 226 pounds
2013-14 stats: 61 games, 39 goals, 35 assists, 74 points
Central Scouting rank: No. 7 (North America)
Lowdown: How dominant can Ritchie be? Well, a five-goal outing in February showed that no one can stop him when he’s at the top of his game. He bulls his way to tough areas, and players can be hesitant to get in his way.
Ritchie is also agile enough to look like an overgrown skill guy. His wrist shot is considered one of the best in junior hockey. It helped him put up five goals and 10 points in 11 playoff games as the Petes came back from a 3-0 deficit to win the opening round against Sam Bennett and Kingston.
Despite Ritchie’s oft-displayed mean streak (he had 136 penalty minutes), the big guy can occasionally go to sleep during shifts. Part of that is because his conditioning could use improvement. There’s still little doubt his skills combine to make him a top-10 pick.
They said it: “He's a big, physical, tough guy. When he's playing and using his size and strength he's tough to knock off the puck. He goes to the net hard and has that power-forward mentality that's tough for people to handle. He protects the puck and has an excellent shot off the rush.” – Chris Edwards, NHL Central Scouting.
The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL draft, which begins June 27.
taggedNHL Entry Draft