RITCHIE Nicholas
Person
RITCHIE Nicholas

RITCHIE
Nicholas

Canadian professional ice hockey forward

Organization: National Hockey League (NHL)

Date of Birth: 5 December 1995

Age: 28 years old

Zodiac sign: Sagittarius

Profession: Hockey player

Content

Biography

Nicholas Ritchie is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward currently playing for the Oulun Kärpät in the Finnish Liiga. Ritchie was selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the first round, tenth overall, of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Ritchie has also played for the Boston Bruins, Arizona Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Calgary Flames.

Career

Anaheim Ducks

After attending the Ducks 2014–15 training camp, Ritchie was reassigned to the OHL's Peterborough Petes for his final junior season. He was invited to the Ducks' 2015 training camp where he was praised by head coach Bruce Boudreau for his development. In an interview, Boudreau spoke highly of Ritchie, saying: "He feels more like a player whereas last year he was a little raw. He’s using his size, his speed and his strength to his advantage. It’s good for him." However, he was still re-assigned to the Ducks' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the San Diego Gulls, to begin the season. After playing in 12 games, and recording 12 points, Ritchie ranked tied for third among AHL leaders in goals. As a result, he was recalled to the NHL level on November 14 2015, alongside teammate Michael Sgarbossa. Ritchie subsequently made his NHL debut on November 16, 2015, against the Carolina Hurricanes, becoming the 11th youngest Duck to reach that milestone. He later recorded his first NHL point, an assist, on December 1, 2015, during a 4–0 win over the Vancouver Canucks. As he continued to play with the Ducks well into the new year, Ritchie recorded his first career NHL goal on March 14, 2016, in a 7–1 win over the New Jersey Devils. He later scored a tip-in goal to help the Ducks win the Pacific Division title and qualify for the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs. However, before he could make his post-season debut, he was re-assigned to the Gulls. At the time of his reassigned, Ritchie had amassed four points in 33 games for the Ducks during the regular season.

The following season, Ritchie made his the Ducks' home opening night roster against the Dallas Stars on October 13, 2016, where they fell 4-2. He spent the majority of the season playing on a line alongside center Antoine Vermette and right wing Corey Perry and ranked eighth in the NHL in hits by April. On April 6, Ritchie was suspended two games for roughing Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Michal Rozsíval, and had to miss the last game of the regular season against the Los Angeles Kings. He returned to the lineup for the Ducks' first round playoff series against the Calgary Flames. He scored in his second game back to spark a comeback in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round sweep of the Calgary Flames. After sweeping the Flames in four games, the Ducks entered the second round against the Edmonton Oilers. After committing a penalty during Game 1 of the series, Ritchie was scratched for Game 2 and had decreased ice time during Game 3. However, Ritchie scored the game winning goal in Game 7 to send the Ducks to the 2017 Western Conference Finals against the Nashville Predators. During the series, Ritchie was ejected from Game 6 for boarding Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson. The Ducks ended up being eliminated that game and the Predators went on to the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals.

On October 19, 2018, the Ducks signed Ritchie to a three-year, $4.6 million contract, ending his holdout. Ritchie missed the team's first seven games of the season.

Boston Bruins

On February 24, 2020, Ritchie was dealt at the trade deadline to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Danton Heinen. At the time of the trade, he had recorded eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points in 41 games. Ritchie only played in seven games, where he recorded one goal and an assist, before the league paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the following pandemic shortened 2020–21 season, Ritchie played his 300th career NHL game on January 26, 2021, against the Pittsburgh Penguins. In a rebound season with the Bruins, he appeared in every game with the Bruins, collecting 15 goals and 26 points in 56 contests. He added 4 points in 11 playoff games before he was surprisingly released as a free agent by the Bruins after he was not tendered a qualifying offer as an impending restricted free agent.

Toronto Maple Leafs

On July 31, 2021, Ritchie was signed to a two-year, $5 million contract with his childhood team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ritchie was primarily signed to replace Zach Hyman's role, who the Leafs lost to the Edmonton Oilers during the same free agency period, and was expected to serve as a gritty, aggressive winger on the top line alongside Auston Matthews. However, Ritchie struggled in his time with Toronto, failing to contribute offensively and not being able to keep up with the speed of his linemates; after starting the season in his expected role on the top line, Ritchie was gradually demoted until finally being placed on waivers on January 6, 2022. He cleared waivers the following day and was assigned to the Toronto Maple Leafs' taxi squad. After the NHL eliminated the taxi squad following the NHL All Star break, Ritchie was assigned to the Toronto Marlies, for which he appeared in two contests for, scoring one goal. Following waiving Ritchie, the team began to explore trade opportunities to give him another opportunity at playing in the NHL and to alleviate his burdensome cap hit.

Arizona Coyotes

On February 19, 2022, Ritchie was traded to the Arizona Coyotes along with a third-round pick in 2023 or a second-round pick in 2025 in exchange for Ryan Dzingel and Ilya Lyubushkin.

During the 2022–23 season, having re-established himself in the league through his tenure with the Coyotes, he posted 21 points through 58 games.

Calgary Flames

On March 3, 2023, Ritchie was dealt at the NHL trade deadline by the Coyotes, alongside Troy Stecher to the Calgary Flames in exchange for his brother Brett Ritchie and Connor Mackey. It marked the first time in NHL history that brothers were traded directly for each other, but the second time overall in North American professional sports, following a 2008 National Basketball Association (NBA) trade that saw Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol traded for each other. Nick scored his first goal in his debut game with the Calgary Flames against the Dallas Stars on March 6, 2023. During the 2023–24 preseason, Ritchie signed a professional tryout offer with the St. Louis Blues on September 14, but was released on September 29.

Oulun Kärpät

On November 25, Ritchie signed a one-year contract with SM-liiga club Oulun Kärpät. On 29th December, Nick Ritchie got suspended for eight games after he had punched HC TPS player Markus Nurmi to the head multiple times while he was laying on the ice.

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