Nicholas Ritchie (born December 5, 1995) is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward who is currently playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL). Ritchie was selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the first round, tenth overall, of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. His older brother, Brett Ritchie, played with him on the Bruins, but is now playing with the Calgary Flames.
December 5, 1995|
Orangeville, Ontario, Canada
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||234 lb (106 kg; 16 st 10 lb)|
Toronto Maple Leafs|
10th overall, 2014|
Ritchie was born on December 5, 1995, in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada to parents Paul and Tammy. Ritchie comes from an athletic family with both his parents and older brother engaging in various sports throughout their lifetime. His mother was a three-sport athlete while attending Brock University and his father played in the Ontario Hockey League. Before his older brother Brett was drafted in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, they competed in lacrosse together. As a youth, the younger Ritchie brother won three Canadian box lacrosse championships representing Team Ontario and helped the Bantam Orangeville team win an Ontario title.
Growing up in Orangeville, Ritchie competed with the Toronto Marlboros in the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) and with the Ontario Junior Hockey League's (OJHL) Georgetown Raiders. As a 15 year old, he scored 50 goals and 45 assists in 68 games to help the Marlboros compete for the OHL Cup. During the offseason, he was named to Team Ontario at the 2011 U16 Canada Winter Games. Ritchie gave up lacrosse in the summer of 2011 to focus completely on his hockey career. He was subsequently drafted second overall by the Peterborough Petes in the 2011 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Draft. In his first major junior hockey season with the Petes, Ritchie was one of the youngest players in the entire league. He skated in 62 games during the 2011–12 season and recorded 16 goals with 23 assists.
Prior to the start of the 2013–14 season, Ritchie was named an assistant captain alongside Stephen Pierog and Nelson Armstrong. By December, Ritchie had collected 15 goals and 11 assists in 28 games and was named to the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. As a result of his play, Ritchie was ranked seventh amongst North American skaters by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau's mid-season list of 2014 NHL Draft eligible players. On February 10, Ritchie was named OHL Player of the Week after he tied a franchise record by scoring five goals in one game against the Kingston Frontenacs. After the Petes were eliminated from the 2014 OHL playoffs by the Oshawa Generals, Ritchie was the recipient of the teams' Bill Bennett Award and Ed Rowe Memorial Award as the leading scorer and most goals winner.
Ritchie was drafted in the first round, tenth overall, by the Anaheim Ducks at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. On August 2, 2014, the Ducks signed Ritchie to a three-year, entry-level contract. After attending the Ducks 2014–15 training camp, Ritchie was reassigned to the OHL's Peterborough Petes for his final junior season. On January 7, 2015, Ritchie was traded by the Peterborough Petes to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, along with teammate Connor Boland, in exchange for Kyle Jenkins and four draft picks.
After attending the Ducks 2014–15 training camp, Ritchie was reassigned to the OHL's Peterborough Petes for his final junior season. He was invited to the Ducks' 2015 training camp where he was praised by head coach Bruce Boudreau for his development. In an interview, Boudreau spoke highly of Ritchie, saying: "He feels more like a player whereas last year he was a little [raw]. He’s using his size, his speed and his strength to his advantage. It’s good for him." However, he was still re-assigned to the Ducks' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the San Diego Gulls, to begin the season. After playing in 12 games, and recording 12 points, Ritchie ranked tied for third among AHL leaders in goals. As a result, he was recalled to the NHL level on November 14 2015, alongside teammate Michael Sgarbossa. Ritchie subsequently made his NHL debut on November 16, 2015, against the Carolina Hurricanes, becoming the 11th youngest Duck to reach that milestone. He later recorded his first NHL point, an assist, on December 1, 2015, during a 4–0 win over the Vancouver Canucks. As he continued to play with the Ducks well into the new year, Ritchie recorded his first career NHL goal on March 14, 2016, in a 7–1 win over the New Jersey Devils. He later scored a tip-in goal to help the Ducks win the Pacific Division title and qualify for the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs. However, before he could make his post-season debut, he was re-assigned to the Gulls. At the time of his reassigned, Ritchie had amassed four points in 33 games for the Ducks during the regular season.
The following season, Ritchie made his the Ducks' home opening night roster against the Dallas Stars on October 13, 2016, where they fell 4-2. He spent the majority of the season playing on a line alongside center Antoine Vermette and right wing Corey Perry and ranked eighth in the NHL in hits by April. On April 6, Ritchie was suspended two games for roughing Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Michal Rozsíval, and had to miss the last game of the regular season against the Los Angeles Kings. He returned to the lineup for the Ducks' first round playoff series against the Calgary Flames. He scored in his second game back to spark a comeback in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round sweep of the Calgary Flames. After sweeping the Flames in four games, the Ducks entered the second round against the Edmonton Oilers. After committing a penalty during Game 1 of the series, Ritchie was scratched for Game 2 and had decreased ice time during Game 3. However, Ritchie scored the game winning goal in Game 7 to send the Ducks to the 2017 Western Conference Finals against the Nashville Predators. During the series, Ritchie was ejected from Game 6 for boarding Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson. The Ducks ended up being eliminated that game and the Predators went on to the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals.
On October 19, 2018, the Ducks signed Ritchie to a three-year, $4.6 million contract, ending his holdout. Ritchie missed the team's first seven games of the season.
On February 24, 2020, Ritchie was dealt at the trade deadline to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Danton Heinen. At the time of the trade, he had recorded eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points in 41 games. Ritchie only played in seven games, where he recorded one goal and an assist, before the league paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the following pandemic shortened 2020–21 season, Ritchie played his 300th career NHL game on January 26, 2021, against the Pittsburgh Penguins. In a rebound season with the Bruins, he appeared in every game with the Bruins, collecting 15 goals and 26 points in 56 contests. He added 4 points in 11 playoff games before he was surprisingly released as a free agent by the Bruins after he was not tendered a qualifying offer as an impending restricted free agent.
Toronto Maple LeafsEdit
On July 31, 2021, Ritchie was signed to a two-year, $5 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. On January 6, 2022, Ritchie was placed on waivers. On January 7, 2022, Ritchie cleared waivers and was assigned to the Toronto Maple Leafs' taxi squad.
During the 2012–13 season, Ritchie played with the Canada men's national under-18 ice hockey team to win gold medals at both the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and the 2013 IIHF World U18 Championships. He was later named to the Canadian men's national junior ice hockey team for the 2015 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|2014–15||Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds||OHL||23||15||15||30||44||14||13||13||26||28|
|2015–16||San Diego Gulls||AHL||38||16||14||30||59||9||5||3||8||20|
|World Junior Championships|
|IIHF World U18 Championship|
|Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament|
|Representing Canada Ontario|
|World U-17 Hockey Challenge|
Awards and honoursEdit
|All-Rookie First Team||2011–12|||
|Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament Gold Medal||2012|||
|IIHF World U18 Championships Gold Medal||2013|||
|IIHF World U20 Championships Gold Medal||2015|
- "Nick Ritchie". eliteprospects.com. Elite Prospects. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- "Profile on Ducks First Round Draft Pick Nick Ritchie". nhl.com. National Hockey League. June 27, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- Ingemi, Marisa (February 14, 2018). "LACROSSE ROOTS RUN DEEP FOR FOUR NHL PLAYERS". uslaxmagazine.com. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- "Nick Ritchie gives up lacrosse for hockey". gopetesgo.com. February 15, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- "Nick Ritchie". hockeysfuture.com. Hockeys Future. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
- "Ontario U16 set for Canada Winter Games". ontariohockeyleague.com. February 19, 2015. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
- "2013-2014 Petes Team Captains Announced". gopetesgo.com. September 16, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
- "Cornel and Ritchie to Play in Top Prospects Game". gopetesgo.com. December 16, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
- "Ritchie and Cornel 2014 NHL Entry Draft Rankings". gopetesgo.com. January 24, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
- "Nick Ritchie Named OHL Player of the Week". gopetesgo.com. February 10, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
- "Petes Magical Run Ended by Gens in Game 4". gopetesgo.com. April 10, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
- "Outstanding Contributors Honoured at Petes Year-End Banquet". gopetesgo.com. May 3, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
- "Ducks Sign Ritchie to Three-Year Entry-Level Contract". nhl.com. National Hockey League. August 2, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
- "Ducks Reduce Roster to 32". nhl.com. National Hockey League. September 29, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- "Petes trade Ritchie to Greyhounds". National Hockey League. January 7, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
- "Ducks Reduce Roster to 32". nhl.com. National Hockey League. September 29, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- "Ritchie, Manson Make it Through Big Round of Cuts". nhl.com. National Hockey League. September 28, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
- Shohara, Kyle (October 5, 2015). "With Opening Night Roster Set, Ducks Turn Attention to San Jose". nhl.com. National Hockey League. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- "Ducks Recall LW Ritchie, C Sgarbossa from San Diego (AHL)". nhl.com. National Hockey League. November 14, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- Stephens, Eric (November 16, 2015). "Ducks' Nick Ritchie makes NHL debut". Orange County Register. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- Halliday, Chris (December 1, 2015). "Orangeville native Nick Ritchie lands on first NHL scoresheet". orangeville.com. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- "Postgame Notes and Quotes: March 14 vs. New Jersey". nhl.com. National Hockey League. March 15, 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- Brown, Katie (April 11, 2016). "Ducks blank Capitals to win Pacific Division". nhl.com. National Hockey League. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- "Ducks Reassign Ritchie to San Diego (AHL)". nhl.com. National Hockey League. April 18, 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- Shohara, Kyle (October 13, 2016). "Recap: Ducks Drop 4-2 Contest to Stars in Opener". nhl.com. National Hockey League. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- Arritt, Dan (April 14, 2017). "Nick Ritchie set to return for Ducks against Flames". nhl.com. National Hockey League. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- Arritt, Dan (May 11, 2017). "Nick Ritchie of Ducks makes most of chance in Game 7 win against Oilers". nhl.com. National Hockey League. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- "Recap: Ducks Exorcise Game 7 Demons in Thrilling 2-1 Victory Over Oilers". nhl.com. National Hockey League. May 11, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- "Ducks will play Predators in Western Conference Final". nhl.com. National Hockey League. May 11, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- "Ducks' Nick Ritchie ejected for hitting Arvidsson from behind". sportsnet.ca. May 22, 2017. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- Stanley, Robby (May 23, 2017). "Predators oust Ducks to reach first Stanley Cup Final". NHL.com. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- Teaford, Elliott. "Ducks get healthier, sign Nick Ritchie to new contract, defeat Islanders". Orange County Register. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
- "Bruins Acquire Nick Ritchie From Anaheim Ducks". nhl.com. National Hockey League. February 24, 2020. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- Russo, Eric (January 26, 2021). "Need to Know: Bruins vs. Penguins". nhl.com. National Hockey League. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- "Maple Leafs sign forward Nick Ritchie". Toronto Maple Leafs. July 31, 2021. Retrieved July 31, 2021.
- "22 CHL Players win 2012 Ivan Hlinka U18 Gold". chl.ca. August 18, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- "CANADA'S NATIONAL MEN'S UNDER-18 TEAM WINS GOLD MEDAL AT 2013 IIHF ICE HOCKEY U18 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP". hockeycanada.ca. April 28, 2013. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- "Nick Ritchie to Represent Canada at World Junior Hockey Championships". gopetesgo.com. December 21, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- "Ritchie, Nosad named to OHL All Rookie teams". Peterborough Examiner. April 5, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
- "22 CHL Players win 2012 Ivan Hlinka U18 Gold". Canadian Hockey League. September 2, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
- "Canada's National Men's Under-18 Team wins gold medal at 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship". Hockey Canada. May 2, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.