Home > Uncategorized > The Next Ones – Brett Ritchie – NHL Draft Prospect Profiles: Power Forward Looking to Sting

The Next Ones – Brett Ritchie – NHL Draft Prospect Profiles: Power Forward Looking to Sting

This article was original published at The Hockey Writers


Brett Ritchie

Date of Birth:  July 1, 1993

Place of Birth:  Orangeville, Ontario, Canada

Ht:  6-3  Wt:  210

Shoots:  Right

Position:  Right Wing

NHL Draft Eligibility:  2011


The Orangeville native had expectations set extremely high entering the 2010-11 OHL season as most people predicted a break-out season for the budding power forward.  Unfortunately, Ritchie struggled to gain consistency in his game as he experienced several interruptions throughout the season.  Ritchie missed a month of OHL action because of a bout with mononucleosis and his absence occurred at one of the worst times as Ritchie was forced to miss the CHL Top Prospects game.  Before the unexpected illness came about, Ritchie was on pace to score 30-plus goals which is what scouts were hoping for entering the season. 

Like most young power forwards, Ritchie will need to learn to utilize his size and engage himself physically to dominate the opposition and reach his full potential.  The large winger added about 15-20 pounds of muscle last summer and it was noticeable during puck battles along the half-boards.  His skating stride is sufficient and he could stand to improve his first couple of steps but once Ritchie gets moving he has good speed and is difficult to contain.  Ritchie has all of the attributes professional scouts like in a power forward with the size, shot, soft hands and a strong skating stride to work in the dirty areas of the rink.  The biggest attraction with Ritchie is his ability to absolutely dominate along the boards and in the corners and if he is fully engaged physically  he is a tank to move.

Scouts would love to see Brett utilize his size on a more consistent basis and develop a bit of a mean streak as well especially after seeing some of the fights he has been involved in.  Ritchie possesses all of the qualities to become one of the bigger steals of the 2011 NHL Draft.  If  he puts in the work ethic to maximize his offensive skills then the kid has a lot to offer at the NHL level.  It is not too often that a player owns the size, hands, shot and puck protection skills like Ritchie that could possibly slip into the second round.  Brett admits that he likes to model his game after Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf (19th overall in 2003) and NHL teams would be thrilled if they selected a player who has the ability to dominate games physically similar to the Ducks’ star power forward.

Brett Ritchie is coming off an extremely successful World Under-18 Championship Tournament last month and after a disappointing season he is trending in the right direction. Ritchie notched 7 points in 7 games and was fantastic during the USA-Canada Semi-final game scoring two goals and an assist in the 4-3 overtime loss.  Internationally, Ritchie has a lot of experience and seems to always step it up a notch in big games.  Ritchie was also an instrumental player in his Canada winning the 2010 Ivan Hlinka Tournament. 

Next season, Ritchie will return to the Sarnia Sting to join his emerging superstar teammates Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk and he will be looking to prove that last season was an anomaly and not the norm.   If history dictates anything, NHL scouts have a soft spot for drafting power forwards and Brett Ritchie is one of the better ones available in this draft class.  It is quite possible that Ritchie could “sting” a few teams if they decide to let him slide too far.

Top Prospects Game:  Ritchie was forced to miss the 2011 Top Prospects game as he battled with mononucleosis. 

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