The writing was on the wall that Nick Rithie would be leaving the Boston Bruins. First, Ritchie was left off the Bruins protected list and was made available to the Seattle Kraken. Second, the Bruins didn’t give Ritchie a qualifying offer. The rumor was that the team was worried Ritchie would have too much leverage in his RFA negotiations and would command too rich a contract.
For whatever reason he was available, the Toronto Maple Leafs swopped in to sign him. The result was that Ritchie signed a two-year, $5 million contract with the team. He scored 15 goals and 11 assists (for 26 points) playing in all 56 Bruins’ games last season.
Ritchie answers a need the Maple Leafs have at left-wing in the team’s top-six forward group. Certainly, there’s lots of star talent in the top-six, but left-wing was a bit of a coin flip; and Ritchie (as well as the signing of Micheal Bunting earlier this week) helps establish the team’s forward core.
Ritchie’s NHL Experience
Ritchie was originally chosen by the Anaheim Ducks during the first round (10th overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. In a video interview earlier today, new Maple Leafs forward Ritchie talks about the process of becoming an unrestricted free agency, about playing for his hometown team, and about helping his new team find success.
Ritchie Is Coming Home to Toronto
Ricthie is from Orangeville, Ontario, which is less than 100 kilometers away from Toronto. He’s played six NHL seasons with both the Bruins and the Ducks; and, during those seasons, the left-winger has scored 137 points (59 goals and 78 assists) in 350 regular-season games. He’s also scored nine points (six goals and three assists) in 38 postseason games.
In international competition, Ritchie captured a gold medal with Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
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