2020-21 Team: Hamilton Bulldogs
Date of Birth: Sep. 04, 2003
Place of Birth: Markham, ON, Canada
Ht: 6-foot-2 Wt: 190 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
Ryan Winterton is one of many Ontario hockey players who didn’t get the chance to have a regular-season this year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. He played his last game as a Hamilton Bulldog on March 7, 2020, against the Saginaw Spirit, where he put up two assists.
Related: THW’s 2021 NHL Draft Guide
Winterton plays a reliable two-way game and has a knack for finding the back of the net. He was selected 8th overall in the 2019 OHL Priority Draft by the Hamilton Bulldogs after winning the OMHA Championship with the Whitby Wildcats and leading the league with 38 goals.
During his first campaign as an OHL rookie with the Hamilton Bulldogs, Winterton contributed 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists) in 53 games and looked to be quite confident. He is extremely versatile, and while being an offensively minded forward with a great shot, he also shows potential in the defensive zone and is extremely aggressive on the backcheck. Another one of Winterton’s attributes is his skating, as he has a quick pace and fluid mobility that allows for him to get up and down the ice at a fast rate. In the NHL Central Scouting’s ‘Player’s to Watch’ list, he was a C-rated prospect, but in January, his stock rose, and he was bumped up to a B ranking.
On April 1st, Winterton, along with 12 other OHL players, was named to the U-18 Team Canada roster to take part in the 2021 IIHF U-18 World Championships in Texas. This gave scouts a chance to watch him and the many other prospects that hit the ice for the first time in a year. He mainly filled a depth role on the fourth line for Team Canada but also saw significant ice time on the penalty kill. In seven games played with Team Canada at the U18s, Winterton put up four points (two goals, two assists) and helped his country capture a Gold Medal for the first time since 2013.
His never quit attitude was on full display throughout the entire tournament, as he was a hound for the puck any time the opposition had possession. He plays a smart defensive game and isn’t afraid of challenging any player down the stretch; he loves to be a puck thief. Despite having a limited but crucial role, Winterton was a player to watch, and after his performance at the U18’s, I would say it is safe to say his stock will continue to rise.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Ryan Winterton – NHL Draft Projection
Most scouts have Winterton ranked in the mid to late third-round. Despite the fact that he did not play a single game this season in the OHL due to the pandemic, his stock has risen greatly. With a solid performance at the U18s, he proved that he is a solid two-way player who can adapt to any style and level of hockey.
“He has a shooter’s mentality. He’s a puck thief on the backcheck.” – Mitch Brown, EP Rinkside
“Winterton naturally reads and adapts to the circumstances on the ice, positioning himself in a beneficial area and finding gaps and opportunities for odd-man rushes with regularity. He is dangerous off the rush, utilizing his ability to fire an accurate wrist shot on net or to slip a tape-to-tape pass to a teammate. Winterton is a strong skater with good puck protection ability and above-average agility and top speed, as well as impressive poise with the puck.” – Prospect Pipeline
“With a small sample size in this game, what really stood out to me was Winterton’s puckhandling and control throughout the entirety of this game. He is decent in the corner battling for the puck and had times where he was able to pick it up and get out and into the zone for his linemates to try and make plays.” – Olivia McCarter, FCHockey
- Strong two-way game
- Hockey IQ
- Offensive awareness
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Snap shot release
Due to the limited amount of games that scouts have been able to watch Winterton play in, there is some untapped potential. As he develops over the course of the next few years, his game will fully mature. He has the potential to be a top-nine centre and top penalty-killer.
Risk – 3/5, Reward – 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 6/10, Defence – 5/10
- 2017-2018 – OHF Bantam AAA Bronze Medal, OMHA Bantam AAA Champion
- 2018-2019 – ETAHL U16 Most Goals (38), OMHA Minor Midget AAA Champions
- 2020-2021 – U18 WJC Gold Medal