The Anaheim Ducks and Boston Bruins in the last couple of days become trade allies. This comes after Boston signed Ondrej Kase from the Anaheim Ducks and on Friday signed Nick Ritchie in exchange for Danton Heinen.
The brother of Nick Ritchie already is signed with Boston but was moved to its AHL Providence team. The signing of Nick gives the Bruins the higher valued brother who was chosen by the Ducks in the 2014 draft. While most feel that at 24 Ritchie hasn’t played his best hockey yet but brings plenty to the table and will be a welcomed addition to its lineup. At 6-foot-2 and 234 pounds, Ritchie uses his size as a physical forechecker and in the past three seasons has averaged over 1000 minutes a season and is 21st in the rankings for hits in a 60 minute period.
That makes him ideal for the Boston Bruins and their style of play. He also can score and has averaged twelve goals for every 80 games player. This theoretically puts him in a good position to be the guy to park in front of the net during power players, a role that the Ducks never really allowed to blossom. In the 287 games he played in Anaheim, he averaged almost 60 seconds per power play, and that puts him under the top 400 forwards in the NHL.
In terms on the Ducks, they feel they got the better end of the deal in Heinen. Only slightly older than Ritchie, he is under contract through to the end of 2020-2021 before becoming a restricted free agent. He has played alongside some of the Bruins best power lines but was never given a major role and only averaging less than 15 minutes on the ice per game and was often bounced around from left to right wing. However, is has been productive, averaging 1.7 points per sixty minutes.
That puts Heinen on par with Patric Hornqvist, Jared McCann, Kyle Palmieri and Kevin Labanc. Still, many feel he deserved a look at a long-term role with the BDucks as they continue to rebuild and are perfectly suited to give him that opportunity.