Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

2023 NHL Draft Scouting Report #25: Calum Ritchie

Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day our LWOS Prospects Writers will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2023 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow Ben Kerr, Kyle Pereira and Frederik Frandson 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”! Today we bring you our Calum Ritchie Scouting Report. 

Calum Ritchie Scouting Report

Ritchie, born on January 21st, 2005, in Brampton, Ontario, is a forward in the OHL. The 6’2” and 187 pound forward currently plays for the Oshawa Generals. On top of the size he possesses at an early age, he also wears an “A” on his jersey as an assistant captain, and has played both down the middle as a center and as a winger. This season, Ritchie has produced a modest 24-goal and 35-assist statline, for 59 points in 59 games in the OHL. 

With the positional versatility, size, and leadership qualities, Ritchie has been a consensus first-round talent. He has been ranked 10th by FCHockey, 12th by Recruit Scouting, 13th by Draft Prospects Hockey, Craig Button, and Bob McKenzie, 21st by McKeen’s Hockey, 23rd by Daily Faceoff, 24th by Dobber Prospects, 25th by The Hockey News, 26th by Smaht Scouting, 28th by Elite Prospect, and 29th by SportsNet.      

Calum Ritchie Deep Dive

Centre — shoots Right
Born January 21st, 2005 — Oakville, Ontario
Height 6’2″ — Weight 185 lbs [188 cm/84 kg]

Consistency in his rankings. Solid on paper attributes with his size, versatility and the letter on his jersey. Those things describe Ritchie perfectly. He will not jump off the page in terms of dazzle and explosiveness. But he is efficient, and gets the job done well. That could mean many different things, however. So, how does Ritchie get the job “done?”   

Ritchie’s Skating 

It’s funny how the description is not explosive nor flashy, but efficient, because his skating can’t be described much better than that. Ritchie is not fast, nor is he the most agile or explosive in his first few strides. But he has power in his strides, and excellent balance against his own age group. When he has the puck, he is hard to knock off of it, and can literally skate through people. 

With the power, core-strength and lower-body strength already ahead of players his age, NHL coaches can worry more about refining his stride and top speed. With the power mentioned, it shouldn’t take long for his acceleration and crossovers to become better. Additionally, with the improved acceleration, his top speed can be above average. Ritchie may never be an elite skater, but again, it’s more about his balance and strength that allows him to be good in this area. 

Offensive Abilities

Ritchie’s offensive game is simple. When it comes to his passing and playmaking, he isn’t the most creative. He does not possess the best stickhandling skills, and can struggle under pressure because of it. However, he loves a good cross-ice pass, spreading out the defence and getting them to scramble a bit. However, he does not always hit on those passes. There are other situations where he becomes a bit too lackadaisical with the puck, and turns the puck over when attempting what should be a simple pass. Other times, it seems as though he is late making a read, and throws a pass right into an opponent, when aiming towards a low-danger area, like the point or a cycle pass. 

As for his shot, Ritchie has a cannon. His shot may not be consistent enough in the power department to beat NHL goalies regularly, but the power is certainly there. When he has space, he can really make teams pay. However, his accuracy can be spotty. Again, if he is given space, he will make it count. But those situations are few and far in between. Another issue is, he doesn’t shoot at a high volume. There are times where, if he faces even a little bit of pressure, he’ll look of a good shooting lane for a not-so-good passing option. Working on his vision and learning to shoot while under pressure will go a long way. 

Calum Ritchie’s Transitional Abilities

Again, Ritchie is efficient, but not flashy, in his transitional abilities. When he is put in a position to carry the puck up ice, he will exit the defensive zone, or enter the offensive zone, consistently. When doing so, he does not force passes or skate through congested lanes. He keeps it simple, smart, and ultimately effective. However, he isn’t the most involved in this area. He usually finds himself being the third forward in, in other words being the trailer. He’s good at playing that role, so it’s not a problem. But, he isn’t the guy who is leaned on to move the puck up ice for the Generals. 

Ritchie’s Defensive Zone Play

Ritchie is an interesting forward in the defensive zone. There are times where he can get caught chasing or puck-watching. Additionally, he often swaps from center to wing, sometimes even on the same shift. That leads to some confusing moments, where he will line up as a winger in a defensive zone draw, then gets caught bunched up with a teammate in the slot, allowing the opponents defender to step up in the play. Other times, he’ll line up as a center, then be caught attacking the point-man, while the slot is left open. 

However, that isn’t a consistent problem. He has no issues helping to defend down low, and possesses a solid active stick. Ritchie is completely unafraid and totally willing to throw himself in front of shots as well. Finally, he has the awareness and anticipation to break up and prevent high-danger chances. That being said, if Ritchie can find consistency in his defensive game, he could be very good. 

Calum Ritchie’s Potential

Ritchie does not possess a high ceiling. But, he has the making of a future NHLer. His strong hockey senses, efficiency, and solid defensive play will go a long way. Add in his leadership qualities, and he’s someone an NHL coach would love to have. That said, while he is a safe pick, it is hard to project him as more than a middle-six forward. But, again, he is someone a lot of coaches would love to have, and there is value in that. 

NHL Comparison 

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Based solely on style and not on projection, Calum Ritchie is comparable to Boone Jenner. Jenner has a good shot, having scored 15 or more goals in a season six times in his 10-year career, including three seasons with over 20 goals. Additionally, he plays heavy defensive minutes, and has been a leader for many years (two years as Oshawa Generals captain, two years and counting as Columbus Blue Jackets captain, and six years as Columbus’s assistant captain.) That’s not to say Ritchie will be a captain at the next level. But, his style projects as a guy who can eat defensive minutes, while providing solid goal-scoring abilities with his shot. 



Tracked Stats from Lassi Alanen and Mitch Brown 

Raw stats via Elite Prospects

Main Photo: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message