TeamPrince Albert Raiders
Place of BirthCalgary, AB
Ritchie is a hardworking grinder with impressive speed and goal scoring ability. He caught my eye immediately in this game and could certainly end up being one of my favorite 2024 draft prospects when all is said and done. Ritchie had an impact on every shift from puck drop until the final whistle through his tenacious work ethic and forechecking ability. He was never disengaged and never stopped moving somewhere meaningful, even when the game’s score got out of hand. I’d like to reiterate, Ritchie’s compete level isn’t that of a mindless speed merchant, cruising around the ice until he finds somewhere to be. He is always moving somewhere meaningful and useful. Ritchie is also incredibly quick and a beautiful skater. His stride is smooth and strong and he generates a lot of power from his inside edges which allowed him in this game to circle the offensive zone with ease while waiting for a shooting opportunity. Once that shooting opportunity presented itself, Ritchie released the puck quickly with speed and accuracy. There were flashes of good playmaking and vision from him, but he strikes me as more of a finisher than a set-up man. In such a dominant game for the Canadian squad there isn’t much to speak about in terms of weaknesses Ritchie displayed, but he didn’t strike me as the most creative dynamic forward, more of a straightline scoring guy who relies on their strengths a bit heavily. It will be interesting to see how he performs the rest of the tournament against stronger opponents. Ritchie is certainly a first round pick in 2024 for me at this point, and I could see him rising quite high on my board if he showcases a more dynamic offensive game. He projects to be an incredibly versatile player at the NHL level — a guy who can play power play, penalty kill, be a top-six complimentary scorer, and even in more of a third-line checking role if need be. Ritchie is a profile I will certainly be keeping a close eye on throughout the season.