#19: David Rittich
Team: Stockton Heat
Signed as a Free Agent on June 13, 2016
Our first goaltender on our Top 25 Under 25 list is David Rittich, who put up stellar numbers last season with the Stockton Heat. In the process, he has climbed into the conversation regarding who could be a future goalie on the Calgary Flames.
Rittich’s signing last offseason was an afterthought, but he performed solidly in 2016-17, eventually leading to a callup in the last game of the regular season against San Jose.
Rittich dressed for 31 regular season games in Stockton, compiling a 15-11-4 record. He posted a 2.27 GAA (8th best in league), a 0.924 save percentage (8th best), and five shutouts (tied for 2nd most). Both his GAA and sv% were 2nd best among rookie goalies, and his shutouts were tied for most.
While he did post numbers that were better than Jon Gillies, we felt Gillies still has a higher ceiling with the Flames which is why he’s ahead of Rittich. With Rittich’s emergence with Stockton, the Flames now have a three-headed monster in their goaltending pipeline with Rittich, Gillies, and Tyler Parsons who will likely all be battling for AHL time next season.
He could have potential value as a trade chip as the Flames have a deep goaltending prospect pool. Jordan Sigalet has described Rittich has being on the verge of NHL ready, perhaps he could even make a push in training camp. It will be very interesting to see if he can improve on last year as his development continues.