The size of a power forward and the skills of a slick playmaker made Nash one of the most dangerous offensive players of his generation.
Selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the No. 1 pick in the 2002 NHL Draft, Nash shared the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy in 2003-04 when he tied Jarome Iginla and Ilya Kovalchuk for the NHL lead by scoring 41 goals.
Nash rose to prominence with London of the Ontario Hockey League in 2000-01 when he won the Emms Family Award as OHL Rookie of the Year, was named to the First All-Rookie Team and made the Canadian Hockey League All-Rookie Team. Nash led OHL rookies in power-play assists (21), power-play points (33), shorthanded goals (four) and shorthanded points (four), while finishing second among rookies in power-play goals (12), third in goals (31) and tied for third in points (66).
Nash scored a goal in his NHL debut against the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 10, 2002, becoming the eighth No. 1 pick to score in his debut. He finished his rookie season with 17 goals and 39 points, placed third in voting for the Calder Trophy, awarded to the top rookie in the NHL, and was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team.
It didn't take long for Nash to become one of the premier goal scorers in the NHL. He scored at least 30 goals seven times in his first nine seasons, including five in a row. In 2008, he scored the fastest goal in NHL All-Star Game history -- 12 seconds after the opening face-off -- and finished with a hat trick.
After scoring 289 goals and 547 points in 674 games with the Blue Jackets, Nash was traded to the New York Rangers on July 20, 2012.
Following a 21-goal, 42-point season in the shortened 48-game 2012-13 season, Nash was slowed by injury in 2013-14, scoring 39 points (26 goals, 13 assists) in 65 games, his lowest total since his rookie season. He scored three goals and 10 points in the Stanley Cup Playoffs while leading all players with 83 shots on goal to help the Rangers reach the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.
Nash rebounded in 2014-15 with 42 goals and 69 points, then scored five goals and 14 points in the postseason. He tied Marian Hossa of the Blackhawks for most shots in the postseason with 69 as New York advanced to the Eastern Conference Final. He finished seventh in voting for the Hart Trophy, given to the regular-season MVP.
After seasons of 15 and 23 goals for the Rangers, New York traded Nash to the Boston Bruins on Feb. 25, 2018. However, he sustained a concussion soon after the trade and opted to retire after the Bruins lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Second Round. Nash finished his NHL career with 437 goals and 805 points in 1,060 NHL games, and 18 goals and 46 points in 89 playoff games.
Nash also had success internationally playing for Canada. He was the leading goal scorer at the 2005 IIHF World Championship with nine and was named MVP of the 2007 World Championship, when he scored twice in a 4-2 victory against Finland to help his country finish first. He also won a gold medal and the 2010 Vancouver and 2014 Sochi Olympics.
NOTES & TRANSACTIONS
- OHL All-Rookie Team (2001)
- OHL Rookie of the Year (2001)
- CHL All-Rookie Team (2001)
- NHL All-Rookie Team (2003)
- Played in NHL All-Star Game (2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015)
- Signed as a free agent by Davos (Swiss), August 3, 2004.
- Traded to NY Rangers by Columbus with Steven Delisle and Columbus' 3rd round pick (Pavel Buchnevich) in 2013 NHL Draft for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon and NY Rangers' 1st round pick (Kerby Rychel) in 2013 NHL Draft, July 23, 2012.
- Signed as a free agent by Davos (Swiss), September 18, 2012.
- Traded to Boston by NY Rangers for Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey, Ryan Lindgren, Boston's 1st round pick in 2018 NHL Draft and Boston's 7th round pick in 2019 NHL Draft, February 25, 2018.