Ritchie among 63 WHL players named to NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch list

Ryder Richie (centre) leads a celebration after a Raider goal earlier this season.

Expect the scout’s room to be buzzing with activity at the Art Hauser Centre this season.

Prince Albert Raiders forward and reigning WHL Rookie of the Year Ryder Ritchie was assigned to the ‘A’ category by NHL Central Scouting in the preliminary players to watch list on Wednesday.

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says Ritchie earned the honour.

“He deserves it. He’s a great, dynamic player. To be recognized that way is tremendous. It’s great for our organization to develop our players.”

NHL Central Scouting assigns players into one of five categories that project where a player may be selected. The ‘A’ category indicates a player is projected to be selected in the first round. The ‘B’ rating is for players projected in the second or third round, ‘C’ indicates players to be in the fourth or fifth round and the ‘W’ rating indicates players with potential to be selected in the sixth or seventh round.

Other WHL players to receive ‘A’ grades in the preliminary list include Regina Pats captain Tanner Howe, Saskatoon product Berkly Catton (Spokane Chiefs), Edmonton Oil Kings import Adam Jecho, Medicine Hat Tigers forward Cayden Lindstrom and Calgary Hitmen blueliner Carter Yakemchuk.

The 2024 NHL Draft will reportedly be held at The Sphere in Las Vegas from June 28-29.