Wednesday, July 9, 2014

30 Teams in 30 Days - Anaheim Ducks

It's back! Let us begin 30 teams in 30 days!

The Anaheim Ducks are up first and they've only got one OHL prospect, the recently drafted Nick Ritchie.

Nick Ritchie - Peterborough Petes
The Ducks drafted Ritchie 10th overall this year, which was a terrific pick IMO. Ritchie has as much potential as any forward taken. His "warts" are easily correctable. Whether it's the needed improvements in conditioning, consistency, injury proneness, these are things that are correctable. The size and skill package that Ritchie possesses is too good to pass up. 2013/2014 was a good year for him as he was able to stay mostly healthy and really emerged as a top flight talent in the OHL in the second half of the season. Once the Petes brought Hunter Garlent on board, it gave Ritchie the playmaker he hadn't really had before and it really allowed him to blossom. The good news for Ducks fans is that Garlent and Ritchie will be playing all of next year with each other and I expect great things (a 50 goal season is not out of reach). That is, of course, if Ritchie returns to Peterborough. As a late '95, Ritchie has played three years of OHL hockey, but I don't think he's ready for the NHL yet. The Ducks have one of the top young farm systems in the league, which means they've got a lot of kids who've already dug their teeth into the pro game and who are probably more ready than Ritchie. He needs to go back to junior for one more year to really try to dominate. The Petes could be a contender in the East and I think a long, successful season would go a long way to making him a confident offensive monster ready for a roster spot in 2015/2016.

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