How far will the Rangers get this season?

Draft Profile: Brett Ritchie

Brett Ritchie (Via

Brett Ritchie (Via

The Rangers currently have five defensemen under the age of 28 on their roster and two more top prospects on the way, so it’s very likely New York will be looking to add some offensive firepower with its first-round pick, No. 15 overall in the NHL Draft.

Between now and June 24th, we’ll take a look at some of the forwards that the Rangers might be thinking about taking on draft day.  Today, we look at…

Brett Ritchie

HT: 6-3

WT: 210

Pos: RW

Shoots: R

Birthday: 7/1/93

Team: Sarnia, OHL

2009-2010 stats: 13g, 16a, 65gp, 35PIM, -33

2010-2011 stats: 21g, 20a, 49gp, 47PIM, -1

2010-2011 playoffs: N/A profile >



The Hockey News: 58

CSS: 36 Midterm Rank: 57

ISS: 30

TSN: 36 Midterm Rank: 38

TSN (Craig Button): N/A

The Scouting Report: 54 Midterm Rank: 53

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch: 42

Corey Pronman: 49

ESPN: 43


Highlight Reel >


What They’re Saying:

THN – “Being named to the Canadian team for the world under-18s allowed Brett Ritchie to gain some redemption after a trying season.  A combination of injuries and a bout of mononucleosis limited him to 49 games and kept him out of the CHL prospects game.  ‘He missed quite a bit of time and wasn’t on a very good team’ a scout said, ‘but everybody looks for a 6-foot-3 power forward with good hands.’  Ritchie, however, failed to deliver on high expectations.  He was not even a point-per-game player this season, but scouts feel he has the size and ability to be one in major junior.  ‘He’s a big, strong kid,’ another scout said.  ‘He’s not a physical guy by any means, but he combines some pretty good skill with that size.’  When Ritchie is healthy and at his best he’s dominating along the boards and corners and competing hard for loose pucks.  He skates well for a player of his frame and has soft hands around the net.”

The Scouting Report – “There were high expectations for Ritchie this year; something he struggled to deal with at the start of the year. Initially overshadowed by teammates Alexander Galchenyuk and Nail Yakupov, Ritchie found his scoring touch in the second half of the season and was one of Canada’s better forwards at the U18’s. A big winger with a good shot, Ritchie can be a pretty effective sniper when he’s on his game. The symptoms in his game we’re not overly fond of is that he is inconsistent, and while shielding the puck well, he doesn’t really play with any sense of physicality. If you see him play regularly, you will probably even find that his game can be plagued by laziness. Despite our concerns, he does have the skill-set where a team will be willing to take a chance on him and see what they can get after a few years of development.”

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch – “It was a tough year for Ritchie who was starting to round into form after a sluggish start, only to be felled by a bout with mono that effectively took him out of it for the balance of the season in January. Ritchie is a big kid with a nice stride who does all the things you want from your power winger along the walls. He takes the puck to the net, shields it effectively when in possession and cycling. He's not a real baggage smasher who goes out of his way to wreck guys, but will give a hit and take one. His mitts are OK, and yet he still managed 21 goals in 49 games this season so the potential is there for him so long as he continues to play in the greasy areas of the ice. NHL teams love those power forwards.”

Corey Pronman – “Brett Ritchie's season was affected when he was hit by mononucleosis mid-year, but he has enough admirable physical tools that helped him put together a decent season given the circumstances. His skating tool was fringe coming into the season but he made some strides in that area to where it is fringe-average and can touch average with good enough mechanics to possibly foresee future improvements. Ritchie's best tool is his physical game which projects as plus. He dominates when the puck gets along the wall and he scores most of his goals from within the blue paint area. I've seen times where opponents would throw their body at Ritchie and basically bounce off him. On the power play, he's the prototypical forward you want standing in front of the net as he has notable hand-eye coordination for a big guy and can get his stick on loose pucks and shots. The puck skills as a whole though are below-average, and he won't be used to start the play or create in open ice. His hockey sense is decent, maybe even flashing a small notch above average. Ritchie knows where he needs to be in the offensive zone and doesn't just drive to the net, and also shows a solid defensive game.”

The Hockey Writers – “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.”



Mock Drafts:

Adam Kimelman, – N/A

Mike Morreale, – N/A

Steven Hoffner, – N/A

Deven Persaud, – N/A – N/A

Gary Joyce, ESPN – N/A

Mark Seidel, CBC – N/A

Hockey’s Future – N/A

The Hockey News – N/A


Thoughts: Ritchie is a hulking player, but he doesn’t exploit his tremendous size advantage.  He’s a good skater and has decent hands, but he’d really shoot up draft boards if he played more physically.  After missing much of the season with ailments, Ritchie may get lost in the shuffle.  But if he’d played the whole year, his numbers would be much more impressive and he’d probably be a surefire top pick.  With all the Rangers’ undersized forwards, Ritchie would be an attractive addition.  However, they aren’t likely to spend a first-round pick on him.

New York drafted Michael Del Zotto from the OHL in the first round in 2008.


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Brett Ritchie >



Posted by Kevin Baumer | June 21, 2011 at 12:29 am

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