2004-05: Split time between Frölunda’s and Leksand’s U20 junior teams. Drafted as highly-skilled player who could be a future top 6 forward, he has been bouncing around in the lower divisions in Sweden.
2006-07: Ritola didn’t get the most of his time in Sweden development wise and that is why he has been signed to a contract and will make his pro debut with the Griffins in the AHL this upcoming season.
2007-08: This season was the Swedes first in the AHL. Ritola suited up for 72 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins, putting up 22 points (7g+15a) with the club. 2008-09: Ritola scored 15 goals and 27 assists for 42 points in 66 AHL games with Grand Rapids. He added 2 assists in 8 postseason games.
2009-10: In 73 games with Grand Rapids, Ritola scored 19 goals, 23 assists for 42 points. He appeared in 5 regular season games and 1 playoff game with the Red Wings but did not score.
2010-11: Ritola split his first season in the Tampa Bay organization between the Lightning and their AHL affiliate Norfolk; missing a dozen games due to injury and illness. He skated in 32 games for Tampa Bay, including one playoff contest, and scored 4 goals with 4 assists and was -5 with 11 PMs. Ritola scored at more than a point per game pace in the AHL with Norfolk. In 17 regular season games he had 9 goals with 18 assists and was +3 with 8 PMs and in four playoff contests he scored 1 goal with 4 assists.
Some have questioned Ritola’s attitude, while others have stated the opposite. What is certain is that Ritola is a creative player with soft hands, good hockey sense and good penalty-killing skills. His scoring touch could use some improvement, though.
Could see time as a member of the Red Wings for the 2010-11 season. Ritola is out of minor league options, and with the logjam of forwards in Detroit, he could be traded.