Nick Ritchie Is Proving His Value To The Boston Bruinsby Jamie Gatlin January 23, 2021 1 comment
At the trade deadline last year, the Boston Bruins’ biggest moves were acquiring Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie. The duo was expected to improve the secondary scoring but failed to make an impact. So far, in 2021, Kase has yet to record a point and is currently dealing with an upper-body injury. However, Ritchie has been one of the Bruins’ best forwards and continued his impressive start on Thursday night as the Bruins snapped a two-game skid.
Through four games this season the Bruins’ offense has struggled. Entering Thursday night Boston had yet to score an even-strength goal. Ritchie however has been one of the few bright spots this season. In four games this year the Ontario native has two goals and one assist. Although the 2021 campaign is only a week old, Ritchie currently leads the Bruins in goals.
Nick Ritchie ties it up on the power play.
Great second effort from Bergeron here.
3-3 game. pic.twitter.com/Va6POuQvLD
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 22, 2021
When the Bruins acquired Ritchie last year, they were hoping he would be a physical presence that would create chances in front of the net. However, the former first-round pick only recorded two points and struggled in the postseason. In 2021 Ritchie has looked like a completely different player while taking on some new roles.
Ritchie’s Impact In 2021 So Far
This season, Ritchie has seen some time on the power play. After only recording two points on the power play last season Ritchie has already matched that total. The Bruins winger has also been more aggressive with the puck as he is shooting it a career-high 15.4 percent of the time. The former first-round pick has already attempted more shots in the Bruins first four games than he did last season and after being traded to Boston.
After looking lost following the trade, Ritchie finally looks comfortable and is making big plays. On Thursday night, he went to the net and battled for the puck on his goal that tied the game at three. It was a welcoming sign for Boston as their other forwards have failed to do that. Ritchie also became the first Bruins player with multiple goals this season. Although the Ontario native has not scored at even strength, he has come close a couple of times.
Well, at least Nick Ritchie scored. pic.twitter.com/cSIgkYucJO
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 15, 2021
So far this season, Ritchie has proved to be a physical player who can get close to the net and make plays. He has always had high expectations as he was drafted tenth overall in the 2014 NHL draft. Although Bruce Cassidy has had to be patient, Ritchie is proving to be worth it. In a season that has been full of frustration so far for Boston, he has been one of the few consistent pieces.