Canadiens sign Big Red defenceman

The team announcement:

General manager Pierre Gauthier announced today the signing of free agent defenseman Brendon Nash to a two-year contract (2010-11 and 2011-12).

Nash, who is currently completing his studies at Cornell University, plays with the Cornell Big Red in the ECAC of the NCAA.

Brendon Nash, who will turn 23 on Wednesday, March 31, is a 6’, 3’’, 206 lbs defenseman who hails from Kamloops, BC. In his last season at Cornell University in 2009-10 (team also includes his brother Riley), Nash led all team defensemen in scoring with 19 points in 33 games (2 goals, 17 assists).

He also served 48 penalty minutes. Nash recorded a total of 67 points (8 goals, 59 assists) and 173 penalty minutes in four full seasons with the Big Red. He also led all team defensemen in points in each the past three seasons.

From 2004 to 2006, Nash registered 60 points (9 goals, 51 assists) in 112 regular season games with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League).

Nash participated in the Canadiens’ development camp in 2009.

From Hockey’s Future:

Nash is a smart, offensive-minded defenseman who possesses a nice
combination of size, mobility and puck skills. He uses his 6’3 frame and
long reach to great advantage, particularly in protecting or stripping
the puck. He’s also not afraid to join the offensive play. Defensively,
he is solid and keeps things pretty simple. Nash has great poise and
patience with the puck, but what sets him apart from many young
defensemen is in his timely passing ability, particularly on power
plays. Though he skates quite well for a big man, Nash needs to work on
having quicker feet. Developing speed and strength are two areas that
will be paramount to his future success.

Cornell head coach Mike Schafer’s comments on Nash: “With
Sasha Pokulok
and Ryan O’Byrne
signing pro contracts last summer, Brendan had a lot of responsibilities
as a freshman and he did a tremendous job. He logged as much ice time
as we could possibly give him and played in all situations. It’s just a
matter of Brendan continuing to excel. We expect big things from him
next year and I think he’ll be one of the top defensemen in our league.”

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