Nick Ritchie

Darren Walker

Ritchie is a big power forward who is strong on his feet and is impossible to knock around. He has great acceleration for such a big man, and can change his speed in order to break away from opponents or win races to the puck. From a stationary position, it only takes him a few short seconds to reach his top speed. Ritchie brings tremendous physicality to the game and uses his size advantage regularly. Ritchie is at his best when playing like a runaway freight train, crushing opponents, getting in their face after the whistle and driving the puck to the net. Doing so, he creates a ton of space for himself and his teammates. Ritchie is like a brick wall running at players and when they try to hit him back, they bounced right off. He battles for loose pucks, using his size and speed to get to the right position to win the most battles. He punishes players with body checks and can have a high compete level that makes him impossible for Major Junior defenders to contain. Ritchie does a great job of creating a screen in front of the opposition’s net on the power play and he gets his stick in position to deflect the puck. Ritchie has great hockey sense; he sees plays develop and gets into open ice to receive passes. He makes good, quick decisions with and without the puck. Ritchie is extremely competitive and puts in a strong physical effort most shifts; he has offensive instincts knowing when to drive to the net and when to hang back to create a better scoring chance for a linemate. Ritchie uses his body to protect the puck and has quick hands that enable him to get away from opponents when under pressure. Ritchie exhibits tremendous patience with the puck when under pressure and regularly gets the puck on net. He makes good, crisp passes to teammates’ sticks, and he possesses a dangerous and extremely hard and quick selection of shots. Ritchie takes charge on the ice and has an air of confidence about him. (May 2014)