Bruins

Former Bruin Nick Ritchie signs two-year, $5 million deal with the Maple Leafs

Ritchie scored a career-best 15 goals last season.

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Nick Ritchie leaves Boston after two seasons with the Bruins. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Former Bruin Nick Ritchie signed a two-year, $5 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. It has an average annual value of $2.5 million.

The 25-year-old forward was an unrestricted free agent after not receiving a qualifying offer from the Bruins.

“It came together pretty fast,” Ritchie told NHL.com. “The lure of Toronto and the team they have, and being from here and the fit I think they have for me, that was all part of it. I felt the Leafs were the best team and fit.” Ritchie grew up in Orangeville, Ontario, 50 miles from Toronto. He scored 26 points (15 goals, 11 assists) in 56 games for the Bruins last season and four points (one goal, three assists) in 11 playoff games.

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Ritchie was arguably the best player the Bruins didn’t protect for the Seattle Kraken’s expansion draft in July. The Kraken selected defenseman Jeremy Lauzon instead.

The departure of Ritchie comes a day after longtime Bruin David Krejci announced he was returning to his native Czech Republic. Krejci and Ritchie played key roles on the Bruins’ second and third lines last season, respectively.

The Bruins signed three forwards to one-way deals on the first day of free agency, including left-wingers Nick Foligno and Tomas Nosek. Both players look like possible options to replace Ritchie’s spot on the third line.

Another former Bruin, Riley Nash, signed a one-year, $750,000 contract with the Winnipeg Jets. The 32-year-old forward, who was an unrestricted free agent, scored seven points (two goals, five assists) in 37 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season.

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