PeterboroughIt’s no secret that the Peterborough Petes are once again shopping their best player much like they did with Slater Koekkoek and Alan Quine in the 2012-2013 season and before that Austin Watson, Ryan Spooner and Zach Kassian if you want to go way back. This time, it’s Anaheim Ducks prospect Nick Ritchie who appears to be on his way out.

Ritchie was selected back in 2011 by the Peterborough Petes, 2nd overall behind Barrie’s selection of Aarron Ekblad. He has since notched 190 points in 201 games played, all with the Petes. Ritchie was selected 10th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft by the Anaheim Ducks.

While there has been much speculation regarding Ritchie’s destination including teams like the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Niagara IceDogs, North Bay Battalion and Mississauga Steelheads. You can now add Dale Hawerchuk’s Barrie Colts into the mix as Petes GM Mike Oke along with two of the Petes scouts took in Barrie’s game this past weekend in Mississauga.

There is currently a trade freeze in effect for junior players including Nick who are currently taking part in the World Junior Championships. The trade freeze lasts until January 5th at which point trades involving these players can be officially completed and announced. There is nothing currently stopping general managers from preparing trades for that date.

What else is there that could make the Barrie Colts frontrunners for Nick Ritchie? For starters, Ritchie and coach Dale Hawerchuk are both Orangeville, ON natives in fact Hawerchuk serves as President, Director of hockey operations, and primary owner of the Orangeville Crushers in 2007, he left that position in 2010 to become the head coach of the Barrie Colts. Furthermore Hawerchuk currently operates a horse farm in Hockley Valley, north of Toronto. Nick Ritchie’s dad, Paul is also heavily involved with horses in the Toronto area.

Another commonality between Ritchie and coach Hawerchuk other than their style of play is the fact that Ritchie (Nick & brother Brett) attended The Dufferin “DiabeTees” Day of Champions fundraising golf tournament in Shelbourne, ON this past summer along with current Saginaw Spirit Nick Moutrey, who has his own set of trade rumours to deal with.

The Petes attendance is currently at the lowest it’s been in the nine years they’ve been at the Peterborough Memorial Center and this has the Petes board of directors specifically Jim Devlin waving red flags. It’s gotten to a point where the board needs to approve of any trades GM Mike Oke would like to make. This will especially be the case when talking about trading their top player as the Petes board of directors will want to ensure the Petes are getting someone in return who has the ability to put bums in the seats in the future.

*By first round pick, I mean a teams 2014 first round pick (player)*

The above tweet is referencing the game that the Petes staff attended.

Under OHL rules, 2014 first round picks, which Givani Smith is, cannot be moved until the OHL Christmas trade freeze lifts on December 27th, but if Ritchie sticks with the World Juniors, any trade involving Ritchie cannot happen until January 5th of the new year.

The connection between the Colts and Nick Ritchie is a strong one. The Colts are looking to buy as they were in on Ho-Sang until the closing moments before he was dealt to the Niagara IceDogs.

We’ll see where Ritchie ends up in the new year. Rest assured, the Peterborough Petes cannot mess this up.

Follow Along @OHLinsiders

  1. justin says:

    Ritchie to Oshawa for Mitchell vande sompel and tobias Lindberg and a 2nd rounder. petes fan but want to see him go to Oshawa because he would be a good fit for d.j smith he was the same player as Ritchie is#gensmemcupbound#


  2. Danger Girl says:

    Before that, Daniel Ryder.


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