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Raleigh Ritchie's Road to Riches [1/2]

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Position: :RW

Height: 6'1

Weight: 146 lbs

Age: 21


Born in Portsmouth, UK, Ritchie was exposed to hockey in his late teens when The UK hosted the S62 WJC as part of the government's new initiative to start building a stronger hockey culture in the Island nation that's sport landscape has been historically dominated by larger sports suchs as Football, Rugby and Cricket amongst others.


This was Ritchie's first chance to watch games as they were on at a time where he was awake, he was instantly enthralled by the sport, watching electric scorers like Leph Twinger and free flowing playmakers such as Dylan Nyugen and Maxim Kovalchuk. Though, the player that made the biggest impact on his was the star Sergei Kovalev, his laser focus on offense and sheer ability to put the puck in the net was amazing to the young Brit. Routinely during the tournament he would watch a game and head to the local rink with his brothers to try and reenact key plays from the game. Where he would smash slapshots with all the force his tiny frame could muster until he could barely lift his stick anymore.


Initially he started playing for his school team, though many other schools still had no Hockey teams, often resulting in long coach or train journeys to play away games. Wicked initially was slotter in as a goaltender due to his slight frame but after convincing the coach to let him play out as a forward he never looked back.


He selected his college based on the hockey team and with the relative lack of interested players, he was selected for the team, again, despite his poor physicality. As time went by though the team and the coach began to understand the value that Ritchie brought to the game, he had a natural understanding of when to position both himself and teammates, and was often the first player to understand the various offensive schemes and tactics the coach introduced. Before long he was chosen by his team mates as the captain, his voice the loudest on the ice like a field general marshalling his troops.


Though the team failed to win any silverware in his time in the college, Ritchie begane to make a name for himself for his intensity and drive. His coach started to give him film to watch from the VHLM, with key matches from recent seasons Raleigh had his hopes high to join one of these esteemed programs. Though due to visa issues Ritchie missed the deadline to decalre himself for the S67 VHLM draft, though this did have the benefit of allowing him the choice fo teams for his debut season.


Ritchie received a healthy amount of offers from almost every team and his few fans from home eagerly follow his twitter feed over the weeks of the off-season This was in large part thanks to signing with a reputable agency with multiple ties in the basketball world. After a few weeks of careful deliberation Ritchie  made his final commitment, to the Minnesota Storm.


He explained his choice was for both hockey and personal reasons, the fit in Minnesota seemed perfect, they were looking for fresh blood to revitalise the team, they had talent from some of the very top agencies in the sporting world joining as freshmen as well. This meant there was a foundation for something really special to be built in the small city in the north. Ritchie was always more at home in the cold and the prospect of Minnesota was more appealing to his than it might be to others.


His first season however was anything but a success, after an a promising initial start Ritchie was plagued with injuries, he suffered a ACL sprain in his 4th game that sidelines him for a few weeks and then after returning from rehab a illegal tackle by an opponent resulted in a broken collarbone. Not to be so easily dissuaded from his dream Ritchie resumed rehab and came back near the tail end of the season and put together a few great game, netting his first goal for the storm and things were looking up. However Ritchie poor luck came back in no shortage, A freak accident led to Ritchie colliding head on into the board at high speed. The crumpled form of the young forward was stretched off the ice motionless as a solemn mood engulfed the stadium. Ritchie suffered extensive trauma to his head and neck and was put into the ICU and an medically induced coma. Fans and players alike around the league sent messages of support to his family and the team as his future was uncertain at best.


News was sparse over the next few weeks as developments were slow, eventually after 4 weeks, the medical staff at Abbot Northwestern deemed it safe to wake his back up. Fans rejoiced but all was not entirely well. Doctors informed Ritchie that his head injuries have the possibility of affecting his motor functions and a full recovery, while possible, was  by no means likely. 


Ritchie rehab was a long process, the Storm paid for his medical expenses but as he was only on a 1 year pre-draft contract, his future in hockey had no concrete foundation. Ritchie journey in physical therapy produced slow results and the season came to an end with him still yet to lace up any skates. Over the summer though posts from fans around the Minnesota area revealed some videos of Ritchie at the Storms training facility, tentatively skating around the rink.


The off-season began and Ritchie's name largely dropped off the map in the approach to the S68 draft, Raleigh himself had given up all hope of being selecting in the draft and was preparing himself for his second course of physio therapy, this time on his own money. He didn't even tune in to the live draft and was at his local gym when his phone buzzed, a message from the Prague Phantoms GM asking if he was ready for the VHL. His breath caught in Ritchie's throat as he sat down on the bench. His mind raced, but he could still feel the shakiness in his bones, the weakness of muscles that still suffered. "I'm not ready, sorry" he replied. How could he even think he was ready for that when he struggled to run a 5k sometimes. His phone buzzed again, this time a message from the DC Dragons GM, Ritchie stopped and took a deep breath, he took stock of his surroundings. "What have I got to lose here, it's a chance that might not come back around, if I get injured again I might never be in this position." Raleigh steeled his nerve and this time the answer was yes. He turned on the nearest TV and heard the sweetest words he thought he'd never hear.


"With the 61st pick in the S68 VHL Draft, The DC Dragons select Raleigh Ritchie"


Though saying that, there was still a long road ahead, he wasn't called up yet, still being a incredibly raw prospect. The Dispersal draft saw him taken late by the San Diego Marlins and Ritchie's troubled journey was back on track, it was never going to be an easy road and he was far behind his peers but the only way was up. His VHL dream was alive.


mentions @diamond_ace @Enorama


Edited by DangerGolding
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This was a great read and interesting story of Ritchies career so far. It's a nice touch adding current members that Richie looked up to in his career.



One thing I would suggest is to maybe add some more pictures throughout the biography to give it a more genuine feel and so that the reader can have some visuals to look at instead of just a big line on text.

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  • DollarAndADream changed the title to Raleigh Ritchie's Road to Riches [1/2]
  • 1 month later...

Review: 9/10


Absolutely great storytelling in explaining the struggles of Richie's career. I do think a few more pictures of say the injury or him on ice would be a huge addition to the storytelling. My favorite part was Richie's VHL Draft experience in the dilemma of gambling his health and continuing the pursue his life-long dream. Some specifics like his family or the names of schools he went to would be great for detail purposes similar to the great research on Abbot Northwestern in Minnesota. Overall, really well done and I look forward in reading and seeing more of Richie's adventures!

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