Do The Avalanche Have Two MVP’s In Their Organization?

Colorado Hockey Now

All eyes are on the MVP race in the NHL with Nathan MacKinnon, but the Colorado Avalanche might have another MVP in their organization.

He just happens to play in a different league.

On Sunday night, the Oshawa Generals clinched the top spot in the Eastern Conference for the Ontario Hockey League Playoffs. In their 5-1 win, Calum Ritchie scored two goals and picked up an assist, giving him 80 points on the season in just 50 games. His 1.6 points-per-game average was good enough for sixth best in the entire league. Despite missing the first 17 games of the season, he finished with eight more points than anyone on Oshawa.

Not bad for a guy coming off major shoulder surgery.

Without Ritchie, the 27th pick by the Avalanche in the 2023 NHL Draft, there’s no way the Oshawa Generals could have finished first in the Eastern Conference. The numbers back it up as well.

Prior to getting their top scorer back, the Generals were a middle of the road team, going just 8-9 without Ritchie. Once Ritchie returned to the lineup, Oshawa’s campaign completely changed, and they finished on a 32-10-7-2 run (he missed one game due to illness), including a 12 game winning streak to close out the regular season.

If that’s not evidence of an MVP, I don’t know what is.

Having missed a decent chunk of the season, it might be tough for Ritchie to walk away with the MVP honors in the OHL, as there are plenty of other players in the league worthy of the award. David Goyette of Sudbury led the league in scoring by a fair margin with 117 points, and his team finished just six points back of Oshawa in the standings. Quentin Musty, on the same team as Goyette, led the league with 1.92 points-per-game. Denver Barkey was the top scorer on the top team in the league, the London Knights.

The interesting thing about all those players is that their teams are pretty stacked. Sudbury had three players average over 1.69 points-per-game. London had two above 1.59.

On Oshawa, it was all Ritchie. As mentioned above, he finished with a 1.6 points-per-game average. The next closest player on his team? All the way down at 1.13. That’s a large gap, and just goes to show how important he is to that squad.

Combining Oshawa’s record with Ritchie in the lineup, their rise up the standings as the season has gone on, and how big the gap is between his production and the next closest Oshawa player, you’ve got all the makings of an MVP.

So yes, maybe the Avalanche do have two MVP’s in their organization. We’ll just have to wait a few more months to find out.

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