Columbus Blue Jackets: The New Nash – Riley Nash

The Columbus Blue Jackets signed the 29 year old center on the first day of free agency.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed center Riley Nash to a three year deal according to a tweet from Darren Dreger on Sunday afternoon.

Nash’s cap hit of $2.75M is a risk for the probable future third line center, as last season was a break out year for him. However if he can bring the same level of play he did for the Boston Bruins last season, it could end up being a steal for the Blue Jackets.

While 2017-2018 was a break out season offensively for the 29 year old center, defensively he has been great since breaking into the league at 22 years old ion the 2010-2011 season with the Carolina Hurricanes. In his 399 career NHL games, Nash has 203 blocked shots, 294 takeaways and only 95 giveaways.

On top of his defensive capabilities, he posted a career high in all offensive statistics last season. His career high 15 goals, 26 assists and the total of 41 points show his potential to be a top all around player in the NHL. Nash also has a career faceoff percentage of 48.4% through his tenures with both the Hurricanes and Bruins.

While Riley Nash isn’t the popular Nash from the Blue Jackets history, Riley Nash will certainly build on the last name’s legacy in Columbus. Don’t expect him to put up numbers that will wow every fan offensively, however he’ll be a noticeable player on the ice nightly through his fantastic two-way play.

The Columbus Blue Jackets didn’t sign a superstar on the first day of free agency, but they got a very good player to bolster their bottom six forwards. Expect Riley Nash to play on the third line, however in case of injury he could be a phenomenal second line replacement. Jarmo Kekalainen made an interesting, but fairly safe signing compared to most of the July 1st moves.