Related: Zach Benson
Calum Ritchie has the whole package of a player you would want in a centreman; he has the size, speed, hands, smarts, and skill to be effective on both sides of the puck in any situation. He plays with a high motor which, along with his excellent edgework, compensates for his unrefined stride mechanics. He doesn’t shy away from physical contact, attacks the slot consistently, and creatively shifts the angles of attack to create dangerous opportunities for himself or his teammates. Ritchie plays a pro-style game all over the ice. Even on nights where you don’t think he’s been effective, he manages to impact the stat sheet and on the ice. Ritchie started the season by winning gold and leading the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in scoring. Ritchie made the OHL all-rookie team with Oshawa last year and should take his game to another level this year. 16 Games into the 22-23 season, Ritchie has 6 goals and 12 points and has showcased himself well enough to be a top 10 pick in the 2023 NHL draft.
Physical Play Great
Offensive Play Great
Defensive Play Great
Hockey Sense Excellent
1. Ritchie has the whole package of a player that you would want in a centreman, with the size, speed, hands, smarts, and skills to be effective on both sides of the puck in any situations.
2. Highly skilled and intelligent playmaking pivot who can play a physical game, and processes the game at an elite level.
3. The passing ability, though, is a standout quality; he understands passing angles very well and has the ability to hit more complex passes flawlessly, whether it be a long-range bank pass or a weighted pass into open ice.
Areas of Improvement
1. His shot is good, but not great.
2. Needs to add some quickness, as he lacks explosiveness.
3. Needs to work on his defending of multi-variable scenarios, as his transition between separate assignments can sometimes be a struggle.
Calum Ritchie is a unique player; his game is based around a combination of high-end intelligence and high-end playmaking, with a high motor and intensity. He is capable of making plays that few other CHL players do and he executes them with great effectiveness. Whether it be a perfectly weighted cross-ice pass for an odd-man rush or a weaving off-puck route that ends with him in the slot in the blindspots of all the opposition’s defenders, Ritchie tilts the ice in his team’s favor by strategically outmaneuvering his opponents. Ritchie has very good hands and uses them effectively to manage possession and open passing lanes. His shot itself is good, not great, but what makes him a real and projectable scoring threat is that he consistently gets in position to best use it. His passing ability standsout, he understands passing angles very well and has the ability to hit more complex passes flawlessly, whether it be a long-range bank pass or a weighted pass into open ice. His edgework is a positive, for sure, as is his agility, but his acceleration needs work. He hits a good top speed after four strides but is slow to reach it. Ritchie is also an intense player. He’s not afraid of getting physically engaged, he actively pressures the puck carrier when defending, and his puck protection mechanics are quite good considering his age and size. Defensively, he makes good reads, applies pressure intelligently, and chips in behind the net, but he needs to work on his defending of multi-variable scenarios, as his transition between separate assignments can sometimes be a struggle. Ritchie’s NHL comparison is Anze Kopitar, although I don’t think Ritchie has as good a shot as Kopitar, Ritchie has similar criticisms to his game that Kopitar did when he entered the NHL, and he turned out to be a terrific NHL player. Calum Ritchie has the potential to be a potential top 6 center and likely is going to be a top 10 pick in the draft next year.
Skill: Highly skilled and intelligent playmaking pivot who can play a physical game.
NHL Comparable: Anze Kopitar
NHL Potential: Top 6 All-Around Center
|2022-23||Canada U18||Hlinka Gretzky Cup||5||4||10|