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2019-20 Player Review: Riley Nash may not be flashy, but he’s consistent

Riley Nash might have been better than you thought.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

By now, we understand what we get with Riley Nash. Not the 41-point player we saw in Boston, just one season before he came to Columbus. And not even the 20-point a year guy he was for the Hurricanes in the three years prior.

However, Nash has been a constant bottom-six player for Columbus, who also proven himself overall, pretty durable through two seasons in Columbus, only missing a handful of games. He’s been durable compared to just about anyone else on the team, which you can chalk up to bad luck mostly.

It took him a while in year one to seem comfortable, not even scoring his first goal until game 77, and his second year mirrors year one statistically. But he’s also been good for a clutch playoff goal here or there, and really hones in at the most important time of year.

Regular Season

Games Played: 64
Goals: 5
Assists: 9
Points: 14
Plus/Minus: 6
PIM: 10
5v5 CF%: 45.3
5v5 FF%: 48.1


Games Played: 10
Goals: 1
Assists: 1
Points: 2
Plus/Minus: -4
PIM: 0
5v5 CF%: 42.3
5v5 FF%: 46.8

Contract Status

Nash is entering the last year of his three-year deal signed prior to the 2018-19 season. The 31-year-old will carry on making an AAV of $2,750,000, with a cap hit of $2,750,000.

High Point

Here’s his Game 2 goal against the Lightning to tie the game at one, a game Columbus lost 3-2.

In what was an otherwise forgettable second game of the season against the Penguins, Nash had his first of two multi-point games on the season when he assisted on two goals in a 7-2 loss at Pittsburgh. He did up his goal total from three to five from the season before, matched his assists total (9), became a plus player, and saw a bit of an increase on his shot percentage and inside the face-off circle. The shorter regular season notwithstanding.

Per Blue Jackets insider Jeff Svoboda, Nash was also among the better defensive forwards in the game:

“He was a defensive stalwart and calming influence while playing with NHL rookies on either side of him for much of the season. This year, 300 NHL forwards played at least 600 minutes of 5-on-5 hockey, per Natural Stat Trick, and Nash placed 12th in goals allowed by his team per 60 minutes and fourth in expected goals allowed.”

Low Point

As did just about everyone at one point or another, Nash dealt with injury, but didn’t miss a ton of time at all.


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