Ritchie named WHL Rookie of the Year

The Western Hockey League has announced that Ryder Ritchie is the recipient of the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as the league’s rookie of the year for the 2022-23 season.

Ritchie, a product of Calgary, Alta., burst onto the scene in his 16-year-old season, finishing in a tie for first in scoring by a 2006-born player (Berkly Catton), finishing the season with 55 points (20G-35A).

It took just three games for Ritchie to find his first career WHL goal, scoring on September 28, 2022 against the Winnipeg ICE. He picked up his first WHL point a game before that on September 24, 2022 against the Saskatoon Blades. He finished the season with 16 multi-point games, including three 3-point performances.

With his offensive skills on display, Ritchie made his name known on the three stars board as well, as he was given one of the three stars honours in 15 out of 61 games played. He took home the Rookie of the Year award, as well as the Second Star award at the Raiders’ award banquet in March.

This season, Ritchie also got a taste of the International stage, as he played for Team Canada at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge last July, as well as the U17 World Hockey Challenge held in Langley and Delta, B.C., where fellow Raider Cole Peardon was also invited.

Ritchie finished the 2022-23 regular season third place in Raider scoring. Only Landon Kosior and Sloan Stanick finished ahead of the winger.

The announcement is the start to a busy week for the Raiders. Wednesday marks the U.S. Priority Draft, where Prince Albert holds the fifth and 27th overall picks. The week gets even busier on Thursday, with the start of the WHL Prospects Draft. The Raiders hold the first, second, and seventh overall picks in the first round.

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