Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2021 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Ryan Winterton Scouting Report.
Markham, Ontario’s Ryan Winterton was selected by the Hamilton Bulldogs in the first round, eighth overall, at the 2019 OHL Priority Selection Draft. Winterton scored 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points in 53 games as an OHL Rookie. He also played for Team Canada Black at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. Winterton picked up three assists in five tournament games. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Winterton was not able to build on those numbers this season. With the OHL season never getting started, Winterton was limited to playing for Team Canada at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships as his only hockey this season. He put up two goals and four points in seven tournament games. Winterton helped the Canadian team bring the gold medal home from Plano, Texas.
In 2018-19 Winterton put up 38 goals and 36 assists for 72 points in 36 games for the Whitby Wildcats in the ETAHL. He also added three goals and six points in seven playoff games. Winterton’s older brother, Jacob Winterton played in the OHL for the Flint Firebirds and the Oshawa Generals. With his OHL career done, he is playing USports hockey for the University of Guelph Gryphons.
Ryan Winterton Scouting Report
Centre/Right Wing — shoots Right
Born September 4th, 2003 — Markham, Ontario
Height 6’2″ — Weight 175 lbs [188 cm / 79 kg]
Winterton really improved his skating over the last year. At the Under-18s he showed a much quicker first step and better acceleration. His stride looked more polished and smoother. Playing with and against the best 18-year-olds in the world, Winterton was one of the better skaters on the ice. He also showed very good top-end speed. Winterton’s edgework and agility still need some work. His lateral movement and turns are above average but are nothing to write home about. He also shows good core strength and balance. Winterton is strong on the puck and fights through checks, hooks and holds. He is also good at battling for pucks in the corners and in front of the net. This should only improve as he matures.
Winterton is a very good shooter. He has an excellent wrist shot. It has very good power as well as a quick release. He is also able to pick corners with accuracy. His snapshot is also very effective. Winterton loves to work off the half-boards on the power play. From that position, he is also effective with his one-timer. Winterton is willing to fight to get to the middle of the ice and play in dirty areas. He uses his quick hands in order to deke defencemen and get his shot off. These quick toe-drags and the change of his release point also fool goaltenders. Winterton is more than willing to get to the net. When he gets there, he can tip in shots and pounce on rebounds.
Winterton is not the most creative player. He plays a north-south game. Winterton gets in quickly on the forecheck, pressuring opponents into making mistakes. He is also good at protecting the puck in the cycle game and controlling it down low. Winterton is known to make short, quick passes to keep the puck moving on the outside. He can also make passes across the crease and through tight areas. However, he does not do this often. Whether it is due to lack of vision or the fact he prefers to play a safer game is unclear. It could be something that becomes more frequent as he gains confidence in his game.
Winterton is very advanced in his defensive game. He uses his skating to play a 200-foot game. Winterton helps the defence down low, supporting them against the cycle game. Winterton is not the type to throw a big hit but he does not shy away from board battles and keeping his man to the outside when defending the cycle game. He does a good job of forcing his man into poor shooting areas. Winterton also does a good job of cutting down passing lanes with his long, active stick. He is also good in his defensive zone coverage away from the puck, keeping himself between his man and the front of the net. Winterton will also block shots. He is already strong in the face0ff circle.
Projection and Comparison
Winterton can be a very good two-way player if he develops to his full potential. His defensive game projects into a player who can play against the other team’s top line and kill penalties. He certainly can shoot the puck but there is some question about his ultimate offensive upside. Winterton is one of the youngest players in this draft as he is only 11 days away from being a 2022 Draft Eligible. This means that there may still be some untapped potential there, especially as we didn’t get to see what he could do in his second OHL season. He could be worth the gamble for a team with a good development program. Winterton’s game is reminiscent of Anthony Cirelli. This is a stylistic comparison only though and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Ryan Winterton that are available on Youtube as well as Twitter.
Canada leads 7-0. Ryan Winterton finishes the play off after picking up the bouncing puck. Good job by Wyatt Johnston to deflect it up. #U18Worlds pic.twitter.com/y3LI3ssm85
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) April 28, 2021
Ryan Winterton now makes it 8-2.
Roulette gets the assist. #U18Worlds pic.twitter.com/MbGdhPXOaU
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) May 3, 2021
The 33rd ranked North American skater for the #NHLDraft, Ryan Winterton of the @BulldogsOHL, compares his two-way game to that of Patrice Bergeron.#MeetTheFuture | @KubotaCanadaLtd pic.twitter.com/qnTMuQ8FpX
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) July 16, 2021
Ryan Winterton had a great chance for Canada but Karlis Mezsargs came up big with the glove save.
Mezsargs has been Latvia's saving grace today. #U18Worlds pic.twitter.com/KM5QEll49a
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) April 29, 2021
Connor Roulette does the work and Ryan Winterton taps it in to make it 8-2 in a hurry for Canada. #U18Worlds pic.twitter.com/c3NpDz3d4R
— Josh Bell (@JoshuaBell31) May 3, 2021
Hamilton rookie Ryan Winterton scores his 10th goal of the season.
Great look by Gravelle to find Winterton trailing pic.twitter.com/jr6CO9DDJ7
— Tate Harris (@tateharris9) February 7, 2020
Really nice play by Jan Jenik as he sends the puck across to Ryan Winterton, who picks up his 5th goal of his OHL career!
Bulldogs up 4-0 over the Battalion. Jenik has two of those goals already. #OHL #Yotes #rookies pic.twitter.com/dq3UuIuvB2
— Caitlin Berry (@caitlinsports) November 15, 2019
Check back later for our next draft article.
Ryan Winterton Scouting Report Main Photo:
FRISCO, TEXAS – MAY 06: Ryan Winterton #21 of Canada controls the puck against Vladislav Sapunov #15 of Russia and Alexander Figurin #3 of Russia in the second period during the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Gold Medal Game at Comerica Center on May 06, 2021 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)