The second deal between Ducks GM Bob Murray and Bruins GM Don Sweeny during this deadline season was one that particularly interested us, as the Ducks dealt Nick Ritchie to the Bruins in exchange for Danton Heinen.
We believe the Ducks are the winners of this second trade with Boston, as Danton Heinen is a much better overall player than Ritchie in our opinion. Heinen has a +3.43 career AB score in two seasons and had a solid penalty drawn/taken ratio with Boston this season at 7:3. His giveaway/takeaway ratio was 27:15, with the Bruins, and he was +3 on the year. He scored 8 goals and registered 16 assists for 24 points in 61 games played in Boston. Heinen played around the same number of minutes under coach Bruce Cassidy as he did last season with 14:22. Since the trade, Heinen has scored a goal and registered an assist with the Ducks for two points in three games. At 24 years of age, Danton Heinen makes $2.8 million and will become a restricted free agent at the conclusion of this season.
Analytically, Ritchie’s numbers are far inferior to Heinen’s and have a much larger sample size as well. Nick Ritchie was drafted 10th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in 2014, ahead of players like Dylan Larkin, Alex Tuch, Nick Schmaltz, Kasperi Kapanen, and Jakub Vrana. Of that group, Ritchie has the lowest career AB score at -3.30 over a four year period sample. This season in Anaheim, Ritchie took 16 penalties and failed to draw a single one and has already taken another two with Boston in three games played. This gives him a penalty drawn/taken ratio of 0:18, which is abysmal, to say the least. His giveaway/takeaway ratio in Anaheim was solid at 16:11 and has a 1:0 ratio with Boston in three games so far. Ritchie is -2 +/- wise on the season and has scored 9 goals and registered 12 assists in 44 total games played. Since the trade, Ritchie has scored a goal and registered an assist with the Bruins in three games. Ritchie currently plays on a line with David Krejci, and fellow trade deadline acquisition Ondrej Kase. At 24 years of age, Ritchie makes $1.498 million and will be a restricted free agent at the conclusion of next season.
Currently, the Ducks are far out of the playoff picture with a record of 26-31-8, with 60 pts in 65 games. They are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games and sit in second-to-last place in the Western Conference (4pts ahead of LAK). Tankathon.com projects the Ducks to have the 4th overall pick in this summer’s NHL draft, as they would have a 28.8% chance at a top 3 selection, and a 9.5% chance at #1. It will be interesting to watch how Ritchie contributes to the Bruins playoff success, and if Heinen will play at the level that Ducks management expects from him. More to come.