The Ducks selected left wing Nick Ritchie with the 10th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. The draft resumes tomorrow beginning at 7 a.m. PDT with Anaheim holding selections in the second round (38th and 55th overall), fifth round (123rd overall) and seventh round (205th overall).
“Ritchie stands out in this draft class as a premier power forward,” said Director of Amateur Scouting Martin Madden. “He brings size, skating and skill. He is an impact player that makes opponents uncomfortable.”
On leading Peterborough to a 4-3 series win over Kingston when down three games to one, Madden said, “He was instrumental in their comeback win against Kingston, responding under pressure.”
Ritchie, 18 (12/5/95), has collected 73-75=148 points with 246 penalty minutes (PIM) in 165 career games with Peterborough of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Ritchie set OHL career highs in goals (39), assists (35), points (74) and PIM (136) last season. The 6-2, 226-pound wing led Peterborough in points, goals, power-play goals (11), points-per-game (1.21) and PIM (136). Ritchie tied for the sixth-longest goal streak in the OHL last season at six games (7-3=12) and also became the third player in team history to score five goals in a game during a six-point (5-1=6) performance on Feb. 7 at Kingston. He added 5-5=10 points in 11 OHL Playoff games, leading the Petes in scoring and goals, and ranking tied for second in assists.
A native of Orangeville, Ontario, Ritchie helped Team Canada win gold at the 2013 Under-18 World Championship and 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. He also was a member of Team Ontario, which won bronze at the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Ricthie held a conference call with reporters shortly after being selected by Anaheim. Below are his comments.
On if he had a feeling the Ducks would draft him
"I had a good talk with them at the NHL Combine, but I didn’t look into it that much. I think they had a lot of interest. To get picked by them is pretty great. I couldn’t be happier."
On what went through his mind when his name was called
"When your name is called, you stand up and hug your family. Before you know it, you’re up on stage in front of thousands of people, shaking the Anaheim Ducks’ hands and taking a photo. It all happened pretty fast, but it was great."
On how he describes his playing style
"I’m a big guy who likes to play a hard, physical game. I like to play like a big power forward. That’s what Anaheim is getting with me. I’m going to make sure I have a big summer, and hopefully come in and make the team this year. If you want to do something, you have to believe you can. I think I’m ready to do that, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to make the team."
On standing up for his teammates
"I have no problem doing that. It’s something that’s part of my game, and something I’ll continue to do."
On his impressions of the Ducks
"I saw them play in the playoffs, a lot of it during the LA series. It was a close series that could’ve gone either way. [Anaheim] is a great team, and hopefully be a better team next year. Hopefully they can beat the Kings."
On his biggest influences
"My parents. My mom and dad, brother and immediate family."