Five Prospects to Watch – Ritchie, Baptiste, DiFruscia, Maletta, Robinson

The 2011 OHL Priority Selection presented by State Farm will be held online at on Saturday May 7. Here are five of the top prospects to watch.

Nicolas Ritchie, LW, Toronto Marlboros
Ritchie, who was named GTHL Player of the Year and helped the Toronto Marlies win the OHL Cup last month with nine points in seven games, is the younger brother of Sarnia Sting forward Brett Ritchie. He has the physical tools of a proverbial power forward, while possessing a higher level of skill than is usually associated with a player with his physical stature. Overall, he might be the one player available this year that possesses all the ingredients you look for in a hockey player. He has size, skill, very good feet, some toughness and he competes at a consistent high level.

Nicholas Baptiste, RW, Ottawa Jr. Senators
Baptiste is a smart, highly skilled offensive minded forward who plays both a finesse and a power styled game. He is blessed with a solid collection of physical tools and he can handle the puck and makes plays. Baptiste also displays a high level of hockey sense, he reads and supports the play quite well. He has the ability to hit a high gear to assist him to create some time and space from checkers. Most importantly he is a very highly skilled player that displays extremely quick hands. He was named the Ottawa area minor midget player of the year.

Anthony DiFruscia, LW, Welland Tigers
DiFruscia is a physical, hardnosed winger who possesses size, skates up and down his wing and plays an effective two-way game. He is strong on his skates and skates well considering his physical frame. He displays good quickness on his initial first few strides and gets up to full speed very effectively. DiFruscia plays a pretty honest game, providing an outlet for a pass up ice in his own zone while also coming back hard and looking after his defensive responsibilities. He has the potential to develop into an effective two way forward at the next level.  He competed in the 2011 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament and scored three goals and one assist for four points in four games. 

Jordan Maletta, RC, St. Catharines Falcons
Maletta is a big bodied right handed shooting forward who plays both on the wall and down the middle. He possesses a ton of physical tools and has the potential to be a dominant player. Maletta is a very strong skater, utilizing a very long and smooth stride that gives him some real top end speed. He skates with a real wide base, and his strides are quite powerful. He is starting to use his linemates a little more effectively, distributing the puck and then getting himself into a scoring area or a support position.  He competed in the 2011 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament and scored three points in four games. 

Brandon Robinson, LW, Toronto Jr. Canadiens
Robinson is a big winger that possesses a ton of natural ability while also being blessed with great physical tools. He has a great stick and a real soft touch with the puck and has all of the attributes you look for in a high end forward. He has the ability to handle the puck and make plays and for a bigger man he does display a real soft touch with the puck. He carries the puck with a high level of composure and shows the ability to makes plays and distribute the puck to his teammates.  He competed in the 2011 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament and scored five goals and three assists for eight points in five games.

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