Free agent forward Nick Ritchie signs with the Maple Leafs.

Ritchie is a Leaf.


The Toronto Maple Leafs have bolstered their forward group with the signing of one of the many veteran free agent forwards on the market this summer.

The signing has not yet been officially reported by the Maple Leafs at the time of this writing, however National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman is reporting that it is his belief the Leafs have signed veteran forward Nick Ritchie to a multi year deal. Friedman's sources appear to have also divulged the financial details of this deal to the insider with him reporting that this will be a 2 year contact that will carry an average annual value and cap hit of $2.5 million per season.

Ritchie was most recently a member of the Boston Bruins, an organization with which he spent two seasons, and is coming off a 56 game campaign in which he recorded 15 goals and 11 assists for a combined total of 26 points in the regular season. He finished the regular season with a plus minus rating of -6 and would go on to add 1 goal and 3 assists for 4 points over the 11 player games he played for the Bruins this season.

Prior to his time with the Bruins, Ritchie was a member of the Anaheim Ducks who drafted him in the first round (10th overall) over the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Ritchie played the majority of his 350 career games in the league with that organization, and so far has 59 career goals and 78 career assists to show for it over that stretch.

This will put the Maple Leafs in some trouble when it comes to the NHL's salary cap, although they are allowed to exceed the salary cap limit by as much as 10% in the offseason, and I suspect that this also means we will see a follow up move from Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas. Perhaps a player like Pierre Engvall or Ilya Mikheyev will soon be on the move in order to make the necessary room on the roster prior to the start of the 2021 - 2022 regular season.

That is of course merely speculation on my part at this time.