OHL Prospect Profile: Ryan Winterton
– Ryan Winterton –
Whitby Wildcats (ETA) | Centre | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible
Brooklin, Ontario | 6-foot-0, 160-pounds | September 4th, 2003
Ryan Winterton has quickly become an on-ice leader for the Whitby Wildcats in all three zones of the ice. A reliable two-way centre, Winterton is a consistent offensive catalyst for the ETA-leading Wildcats, through high-end offensive instincts and natural vision of the ice.
Related: Check out Prospect Pipeline’s 2019 OHL Draft Rankings.
A trusted component of the WIldcats’ game plan, Winterton is often relied upon as a defensive forward as well, playing an imperative part of the team’s penalty kill and taking numerous defensive zone faceoffs each night. Winterton reads the ice very well and showcases an intelligent game as both a sniper and playmaker.
- Offensive Instincts
- Two-Way Responsibility
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.
Related: Take a look at our 2019 OHL Cup Ranking: October Edition
Ryan clearly understands that potential scoring chances must first come from strong defensive play. He backchecks deep into his own end to support his defenceman and is consistently the first man back to cover for a pinching defender. Winterton is a hound on the puck and strong on his stick to create turnovers before quickly transitioning the play with a smart breakout.
Area of Improvement:
- Snap Shot Release
If there’s one area in which Winterton could improve to become a more dynamic force, it may be in his release. With a strong and accurate wrist shot, there’s no denying that Winterton can beat goaltenders with a clean shot. With that said, he could benefit from a more electric release on a snap shot under pressure.
If Winterton were able to get the same power behind his snap shot that he displays on his wrister, he could battle with the top tier of natural scorers in the 2019 OHL Draft class. Undoubtedly, Winterton is a leader in offensive production among this year’s ETA prospects and is a vital part of Whitby’s early season success.
All in all, Ryan Winterton is an extremely productive centre who can break open a game with his combination of speed, skill, and natural instincts. He displays impressive awareness in all three zones and is consistently trusted to play a key role in all situations for his team.
As a leader for one of the top teams in Ontario this year, Winterton has shown intriguing abilities at both ends of the ice and is currently projected as a late first round pick for the 2019 OHL Draft.