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Ryder Ritchie Scouting Report: 2024 NHL Draft #22

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 2024 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow Ben Kerr 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 Ryder Ritchie Scouting Report.

The son of former NHLer Byron Ritchie, Ryder Ritchie was drafted 14th overall in the 2021 WHL Bantam Draft. Joining the Prince Albert Raiders full-time in 2022-23, he immediately showed his quality. As a 16-year-old, Ritchie scored 20 goals and 35 assists for for 55 points in 61 games. He was named WHL Rookie of the year. He also represented Canada White at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. Ritchie put up four goals in six tournament games.

Ritchie started his draft year by shining on the international stage. He put up three goals and six assists for nine points in five games that Hlinka-Gretzky Cup last summer. Ritchie helped Team Canada to the gold medal. He followed up on the tournament with a strong season in the WHL. Ritchie had 19 goals and 25 assists for 44 points in 47 regular season games. He also added three goals and four assists for seven points in five games. Ritchie would finish his season by once again representing Canada on the international stage. He put up four goals and four assists for eight points at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. Ritchie helped Team Canada win the gold medal.

Ryder Ritchie 2024 NHL Draft Scouting Report

Right Wing — shoots Right
Born August 3rd, 2006 — Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Height 6’0″ — Weight 175 lbs [183 cm/79 kg]


Ritchie is an explosive and powerful skater. His first few steps and his acceleration are at an elite level. He can explode away from a defender or win a short race to the puck. However, he could work on his stride which is a little choppy. This means that while he still has above average top-end speed, it doesn’t quite reach that elite level over long distances, as he does over short areas. A little work with a good skating coach should help in this area.

Ritchie also has very good edgework and agility. His ability to move side-to-side quickly and get in and out of tight spaces makes it tough for defenders to stay with him both with and without the puck. He is also strong on his skates, with good balance and the ability to fight through checks. This allows him to win puck battles along the boards as well as in front of the net.

Offensive Game

Ritchie shows an extremely strong work ethic and excels at both ends of the ice. He battles along the boards and works in the dirty areas of the ice at both ends of the rink. Ritchie pairs this strong work ethic with natural talent. He has an absolute bullet of a shot and gets it off quickly with a deceptive release. Ritchie has the speed to take a defender wide and then cut to the front of the net. This forces defenders to back off. When they do, he can use them as a screen, getting off excellent shots on the rush. He also has the ability to get open in the offensive end and unleash a one-timer. His quick release fools goaltenders.

With his ability to dig pucks out of the corners and retrieve rebounds, he keeps the play alive. Ritchie cycles well and can make a quick pass to a teammate while looking for the give-and-go. He keeps his head up at all times and almost always makes the smart play. His game is extremely mature for a 17-year-old prospect, no doubt due to the fact he grew up in the game. Ritchie uses his lateral agility and his ability to quickly move side-to-side to open up passing and shooting lanes. His quick hands also allow him to create space to make plays for himself and teammates.

Defensive Game

Ritchie works hard in both ends of the ice. He supports the defence with backpressure against the rush. He is also willing to battle down low and help to contain the cycle game. Ritchie is a smart player. He reads the play well and puts himself in the right position. He uses his stick to get in passing lanes and pokecheck oppoents to create turnovers. When a turnover is created, he is quick to the loose puck and helps to move it up the ice quickly, transitioning to offence. Ritchie is also not afraid to put his body on the line to block shots. He does a lot of the little things right in all three zones.

Projection and Comparison

Ritchie is one of the younger players in the draft as he does not turn 18 until August. His game is already very well-rounded, however the offensive stats seem to leave a little to be desired and he needs some devlopment time to continue to score consistently. Ritchie can also use the time to put some work in the gym and add some muscle to his frame. This will be essential as he goes from playing against fellow teenagers to advancing to the pro game against men. Once he is NHL ready, he has the skills to be a top-six winger capable of playing in all situations. Ritchie’s game is reminiscent of Arturri Lehkonen. However, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.


The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of  Ryder Ritchie that are available on YouTube and Twitter.

Check back later for our latest draft article.

Main photo by: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


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