#21 / Left Wing
Height: 6’2” | Weight: 234 | Born: December 5, 1995
Birthplace: Orangeville, Ontario, Canada | Acquired: Trade (February 24, 2020; from Anaheim for forward Danton Heinen)
Assets: A prototypical power forward, he is a throwback who plays a tough, honest game. Can score goals and be a factor as a top-six winger, but he is also a tough customer willing to protect teammates.
Flaws: Power forwards used to rule the NHL, but they are rare in today’s game so can Ritchie make the necessary adjustments in the pros? Also, can he score enough to become a true power forward?
Career potential: Prototypical power forward with upside.
Why You Should Know Who He Is: Nick Ritchie, a forward with an unremarkable record in four-plus seasons wit the Anaheim Ducks (drafted tenth-overall in the 2014 Entry Draft) – posting a scoring line of 43-66-109, plus-14, in 287 games (12-19-31, plus-4, per 82 games) – found his scoring touch in Boston. He will not remind anyone of Connor McDavid, but he is 16-12-28, minus-9, in 62 games over a season-plus in Boston (21-16-37, minus-12 per 82 games. This season, pending the outcome of Boston’s last regular season game, he is fourth on the team in goals (15, a career high) and seventh in points (26), while averaging a career high 2.20 shots on goal per game. He also averages 2:48 in power play ice time per game, a career-best by almost a full minute per game (1:49 per game with Anaheim in 2018-2019). He has five goals in his last 11 games, before the finale against Washington on Tuesday. The season he compiled was good enough to be named the NESN Seventh Player Award winner, given to the Bruin who most exceeded expectations of Bruins fans over the course of the season.
How the Caps can stop him: Make him skate, preferably in his own end. Ritchie is something of a throwback to a time when power forwards were more powerful than nimble. He has been on ice for 27 goals at even strength, fifth highest among forwards despite averaging just 12:32 in even strength ice time per game, ninth among forwards appearing in at least 15 games. He was on ice for 13 even strength goals in 23 games since April 1st, fourth highest among Bruin forwards, and his even strength goal differential of minus-1 is one of five negative differentials among the 13 forwards who have dressed for Boston since April 1st.