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Road to the NHL Draft: Nick Ritchie

By John Vogl

Nick Ritchie

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.


NHL Entry Draft
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |