Boston Bruins: What to expect from Nick Ritchie in 2021

Boston Bruins, Nick Ritchie #21 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins, Nick Ritchie #21 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

What can be expected from Boston Bruins’ left wing Nick Ritchie for the 2021 season?

The Boston Bruins acquired left wing Nick Ritchie at last year’s trade deadline in a deal that saw forward Danton Heinen go to the Anaheim Ducks. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Ritchie was only able to play seven games with the B’s before the season was paused.

Ritchie is a former 10th-overall pick, but now at 25 years old, he has yet to live up to these expectations. Through 294 career NHL games, Ritchie has registered just 44 goals and 67 assists for 111 points — just a 0.38 points per game.

Last season, between 41 games for the Ducks and seven games for Boston, Ritchie scored nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points. In the seven games for the Black and Gold, he registered just one goal and one assist for two points.

So far in his five-year career, Ritchie has just one season with a points per game of at least 0.50 and has yet to play all 82 games in a season.

For the Bruins, I expect Ritchie to play in a bottom-six role in 2021 as he did last season. I expect him to either be at left wing on either the third or fourth line.

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I also expect him to produce much more than his two goals (one in the playoffs)  and one assist for three points in 15 games (including eight playoff games) with the Black and Gold.

I think Ritchie will produce close to his career average of 0.38 points per game with a 0.35 points per game. He’ll do this with a 0.15 goals per game and 0.20 assists per game.

With Ritchie’s inability to play an entire season, I also expect him to miss a few games. Therefore, I’ll say he plays 50 of 56 games in 2021. This would give Ritchie eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points for the 2021 season.

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Overall, Ritchie will slot in at either the third or fourth line left wing. As a former 10th-overall pick, he was expected to be much more but has yet to show it for consecutive seasons. Maybe if he gets an opportunity in the top six, he can capitalize and show why he was drafted so high, but I don’t expect this to happen.

Expectations: 50 games, eight goals, 10 assists, 18 points.