Ritchie invited to Hlinka Gretzky Cup
The Prince Albert Raiders are proud to announce that forward Ryder Ritchie has been invited to represent Team Canada at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup from July 31 to August 5 in Břeclav, Czechia and Trenčín, Slovakia.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all with his elite skill and passion for the game,” head coach Jeff Truitt said about the announcement. “His improvements over the season were outstanding. Having the opportunity to coach a U-18 team overseas (2023 IIHF U18 World Championship) and seeing some of the players that were there, he’ll fit right in. He’s a great player.”
Ritchie had an exceptional rookie season in the WHL with the Raiders. In 61 regular season games, the 16-year-old scored 20 goals and added 35 assists for 55 points. The Calgary, Alberta product was named the Western Hockey League’s Rookie of the Year.
“The numbers that he put up were tremendous,” Truitt said. “His confidence grew and grew. At the beginning of the season, everything was new to him. The intensity and consistency that you have to play with night in and night out is not easy as a rookie, but obviously he is an elite 16-year-old. After Christmas he really took off with his point production, and that just goes to show how high his hockey IQ is.”
This isn’t the first time that Ritchie will wear the maple leaf for Team Canada. Last year he played in the U17 World Hockey Championship in Langley and Delta, B.C., alongside Raider teammate Cole Peardon. Ritchie played for Canada White, playing in six games, scoring four goals, including a two goal performance in his last game of the tournament.
The last time a Raider represented Team Canada at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup was in 2021, when Nolan Allan was a part of the Canadian team that captured gold over Russia.