Highly skilled and intelligent playmaking pivot who can play a physical game. Needs to add some quickness but he already processes the game at an elite level and has potential as a top-six NHL center who drives offense.
Click to Expand
February 2024 – Ritchie has been named the OHL’s Player of the Month after putting up a league-leading 26 points in 13 games. The centerman is also managed roughly 2.5 SOG/game and 10 FOW per game. It appears safe to say he has recovered from his shoulder injury. There is every reason to be excited for the fantasy potential here, but junior standouts haven’t always transitioned quickly into a scoring role with the AHL Eagles (see Foudy, Olausson, Beaucage) – so his play after turning pro will be a major indicator of how long a wait there will be before seeing a return on your fantasy investment. Hayden Soboleski
November 2023 – Ritchie has finally returned from injury and managed two points in his return to the OHL. Getting up to speed quickly would be a great sign for the first-round pick, who will be on the 2024 WJC radar for Team Canada. Hayden Soboleski
September 2023 – Early reports of Ritchie’s participation were premature – the new prospect in the cupboard is still on the shelf. He is in attendance and hoping to participate, but not yet cleared for play. Hayden Soboleski
September 2023 – Ritchie will participate for the Avs in their rookie tournament, indicating that his shoulder rehab (which held his out of development camp earlier in the summer) is complete. Hayden Soboleski
June 2023 – Ritchie has been selected 27th overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2023 NHL Draft. Curtis Rines
April 2023 – This hasn’t been the offensive breakout season many expected of Calum Ritchie this year as he finished the season with 59 points in 59 OHL games. Despite the underwhelming (by his standards) season from a production standpoint, Ritchie is still a big C prospect who skates quite well, with a lot of tools that grade out above average. He is an effective distributor of the puck who makes slick passes to hit his teammates in stride. He also boasts good speed to carry the puck up the ice and successfully enter the offensive zone. He’s tenacious on the forecheck and will challenge opponents with his combination of size, speed and compete level. Ritchie missed time with a shoulder injury late in the season but was able to play in the playoffs. He was not at 100% when returning to the lineup as he was not taking faceoffs and was avoiding contact. Still, Ritchie performed well against the 1st place Ottawa 67s in the first round of the playoffs putting up 6 points in 5 games, despite the injury. Ritchie is a player who has fallen down draft boards this season, however, he could very well ascend if he can regain his form in the U18 World Championships. Jordan Harris
September 2022 – Calum Ritchie is a unique player; his game is based around a combination of high-end intelligence and high-end playmaking, with a high motor and intensity. He sees plays few other OHL players do and he executes them with effectiveness. Whether it be a perfectly weighted cross-ice pass for an odd-man rush or a weaving off-puck route that ends with him in the slot in the blindspots of all the opposition’s defenders, Ritchie tilts the ice in his team’s favor by strategically outmaneuvering his opponents. This isn’t to say that he lacks tools, however, just that his mind shines brightest. Ritchie has very good hands and uses them effectively to manage possession and open passing lanes. His shot itself is good, not great, but what makes him a real and projectable scoring threat is that he consistently gets in position to best use it. The passing ability, though, is a standout quality; he understands passing angles very well and has the ability to hit more complex passes well, whether it be a long-range bank pass or a weighted pass into open ice.
His edgework is a positive, for sure, as is his agility, but his acceleration needs work. He hits a good top speed after four strides but is slow to reach it. One of the reasons for this is a shallow knee bend, something that can be fixed with targeted skating training. Ritchie is also an intense player. He’s not afraid of getting physically engaged, he actively pressures the puck carrier when defending, and his puck protection mechanics are quite good considering his age and size. Defensively, he makes good reads, applies pressure intelligently, and chips in behind the net, but he needs to work on his defending of multi-variable scenarios, as his transition between separate assignments can sometimes be a struggle. Overall, Ritchie is a very well-rounded and dynamic offensive weapon who has already found an identity that makes him easy to project to a middle-six NHL role. Sebastian High