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Interview with Peterborough Petes, Nicholas Ritchie

With an offensive showing at the OHL Showcase Cup it was still not enough for Nicholas Ritchie to be selected first overall in this year's OHL Priority Draft. But that doesn’t matter to the younger brother of Brett Ritchie, forward of the Sarnia Sting. Like many players it is an honour to be selected and have the opportunity to fight for playing time in the OHL. Nicholas has already signed his OHL contract with the Peterborough Petes who selected him 2nd overall and will take to the ice in a few short weeks for not only the exhibition but the 2011/12 OHL regular season in hopes of helping the Peterborough Petes get right back on track.

Nick firstly, thank you for taking the time for this interview. It isn't until the OHL Showcase Cup when players of your caliber really begin to shine. You get noticed at the tournament and the proverbial light shines brighter on you as the tournament progresses. Did you at all get spooked at the types of crowds that the Toronto Marlboros were
getting for the round robin and playoff games of the OHL Showcase Cup?

Yes there was a fair amount of people at our play-offs/OHL Cup games, but I was never got spooked by the size of the crowds because that is what I was expecting.

What about the type of people in the stands. With my naked eye you can spot all 20 OHL General Managers, Scouts and Players, NHL Management and Scouts and the infamous Don Cherry was there to not only watch you but your team as well. Did you or your teammates happen to catch these people in the stands and were there times when
teammates had to be say, 'calmed down' because of these eyeballs watching?

We definitely saw and new that these people were in the stands. Our team never worried about who was in the stands, and we just played hard and had fun.

The Marlboros win the OHL Showcase Cup; I have talked to your Goaltender Alex Fotinos and Jordan Subban about raising the Championship at the end of the weeklong tournament. Other than the actual Championship victory, what was a memorable moment for you that you know will stay with you over the course of the next few years?

Our entire Minor Midget team had a remarkable year. We were very a close-knit team with great team balance and coaching. I will remember our team accomplishments and all of the enjoyment we had for the next few years.

Taken by the Peterborough Petes number 2 overall. A lot of pressure gets put on those shoulders as the team is clearly looking to move upwards from last season. The Team is rolling over their lineup and you are a hard-nosed player who isn't afraid of much. Is there any type of fear that you must change your game, or learn something completely new that may take away from your natural ability on the ice?

I know that your first year in the OHL can be a challenge. My attitude going into training camp is to work as hard as I possibly can, and try to improve my game every day. I have never felt fear in any sport that I have played.
Obviously when people here the name Ritchie they instantly think of your brother Brett as he is fresh on the brain as a result of him being selected by the Dallas Stars. Since he is older he must have taught you something that has helped you get to where you are now.
What has been his biggest contribution to you growing as a person and a player?

Yes, my brother had been huge asset in my success in hockey. Brett is only two years older than me, and when we were younger I always played against him in anything we did. Playing against my older brother made it very difficult to beat him. The biggest contribution for me as a person and a player had been my brother and also my mother and father. My family has helped me and supported in anything I do.

There are 2 dates on the calendar have been circled in the Ritchie household I am sure. December 1st and December 11th. I am sure it is going to be the battle of every Ritchie for himself but what do you expect when you think about playing your brother?

I expect in these games to have a little bit of a weird feeling. I have never played against my brother in a real game before. It will be a very interesting and a fun two games that I am look forward to.

10 days separate those 2 games and then two weeks later it is Christmas? Even if the worse happens in the game do you think you could still sit next to your brother and sing Christmas carols or will the 'war' continue through the holiday season on say... NHL12?

Yes, I will definitely be able to sit beside my brother and sing carols after the games are completed. I am sure he will challenge me and I will challenge him. We are very close brothers that will be able to drop something that happened on the ice.

And lets end it on this Nick, Petes recently acquired Andrew Yogan, Alan Quine is returning, Slater Koekkoek is a stud on the blueline. Is there a Petes' player or two that you can’t wait to get on the ice with to make some 'magic' happen?

There are several very good players returning. I am looking forward to be able to play and learn from these players. I hope as a team we can all make magic.

Nicholas Ritchie, like many of the players interviewed through out the summer is on his personal mission to not only make his OHL team, but also be a dominant rookie on the team, and following the heels of Slater Koekkoek and Matt Puempel. The ‘rookie’ bar has been set very high for young Nick Ritchie. But if his showing at the OHL Showcase Cup is any indication, this 6’02” 210 pound 16 year old will be taking the league by storm this year.

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