Avalanche take Calum Ritchie with their first pick in the first round

Jun 28, 2023, 8:14 PM

On a night that saw Connor Bedard, one of the most-hyped prospects in recent NHL history, go No. 1 overall to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Colorado Avalanche had two picks in the first round of the draft. At No. 27, they made their first selection, taking Calum Ritchie. He’s a center out of Oakville, Ontario, who last played for the Oshawa Generals in the OHL.

According to EliteProspects.com, a site that had Ritchie ranked No. 14 overall, he’s a solid player. He fell due to a shoulder injury that limited him last season in Oshawa.

Ritchie’s hockey sense is his defining quality – his separating skill. In the offensive zone, that means supporting the puck carrier, connecting plays, anticipating gaps in coverage, identifying where to position himself off-puck, and controlling his skating to arrive in the right places at the right time. Even when his team does lose possession, Ritchie has what it takes to win it back, leveraging himself against opponents physically, cutting through their hands, and putting his team right back on the attack.

There was an expectation that the Avs would package their two first-round picks, Nos. 27 and 31, for a veteran player. But on a night that saw very little movement on the trade market, Colorado stood pat, made their initial pick and added depth to the roster.

When Calum will be able to make an impact at the highest level remains to be seen. Roughly 12 months after winning the Stanley Cup, the Avalanche are still in a championship window. How an 18-year-old center can help on that front remains to be seen.



Avalanche Stars Artturi Lehkonen...

Will Petersen

There was another piece of Avalanche news to watch this summer

Chris MacFarland revealed that Avalanche forward Artturi Lehkonen is going to have a shoulder procedure this week; it will keep him out a bit

4 days ago

Valeri Nichushkin...

Will Petersen

Nichushkin could return to Avs, but suspension was “disappointing”

Both Gabriel Landeskog and Chris MacFarland talked about getting hit with the Nichushkin suspension news before Game 4 against the Stars

5 days ago

Gabriel Landeskog...

Will Petersen

Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is not retiring, return unclear

As for when Gabriel Landeskog can hopefully get back with the Avalanche, he's not putting firm a timeline on that just yet

5 days ago

Ball Arena...

Will Petersen

Ball Arena failures were stunning collapses by the Nuggets and Avs

Monday in the Mile High City hadn't felt this bad since Rahim Moore watched Joe Flacco fling a football over his head more than a decade ago

7 days ago

Jared Bednar...

Will Petersen

Jared Bednar shares thoughts on futures of Nichushkin, Landeskog

In a presser with many questions about the disappointment, Jared Bednar shared his thoughts on two potential key pieces for the Avalanche

10 days ago

Avalanche Stars...

Will Petersen

Avalanche season ends in heartbreaking fashion in 2OT to Stars

Former Avalanche center Matt Duchene scored for the Stars with 8:18 to go in double overtime on Friday night, ending the season for the Avs

11 days ago

Avalanche take Calum Ritchie with their first pick in the first round