Ryan Hitchcock

Darren Walker

The undersized Hitchcock has his doubters, but the hard-working, skilled winger has the hockey sense and ability to overcome his size. Hitchcock is a quick-mov- ing forward with a quick stride and strong acceleration. He is agile on edges and able to avoid pressure when he has the puck. Hitchcock has displayed talented stick skills during the season, but unless a play calls for it, he won’t stray from simplicity to risk losing the puck on a skill move. Hitchcock sees the ice very well with the puck and is a highly effective playmaker. His deci- sion-making process is a quick one, and sometimes the puck is on his stick for only a second or two. He finds his options quickly and makes the play. He is an accurate, crisp passer and his teammates strive when playing with him. Hitchcock also carries a hard, accurate wrist shot that he’ll use when set up in the circles. Hitchcock also brings a dimension to his game that some skill player like, which is a never-ending will to compete and win the play that he is involved in. He ignores his size and digs into corners for the puck, and he pursues the puck hard on the forecheck. He supports his teammates effectively in all zones and knows where to be when he isn’t on the puck. Hitchcock is strong defensively and was an effective PKer for the U.S. He positions well in the defensive zone and takes his man effectively. He does a good job getting between lanes and taking away chances from the point and half boards. (May 2014)