Jared Nash was a go-to-guy with the Stratford Cullitons.
In his final season in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, the hometown product netted 19 goals and 62 points in 45 regular season games. He added another six goals and 26 points in 21 playoff games.
“I was kind of the guy,” said Nash, listed at five-foot-11, 190 pounds. “I was looked upon to score the goals.”
With the Penticton Vees, Nash’s role has been different. He’s counted on to win a crucial faceoff. If they get scored on, he’s asked to provide energy as he willingly delivers checks. Nash does not shy away from mixing it up with opponents and exchanges barbs between whistles.
“I think the biggest thing I had to change was kind of focusing more on executing the little things rather than being the big time player with the goals,” said Nash, who came in with a reputation of having a respectable work ethic. In 33 BCHL games, Nash has 14 points. Nash said players that are recruited to the Vees are the best from their respective areas.
“You (have) got to find a way to be effective for the team. I think I’ve done that well with my role,” said Nash.
Does he like his role?
“Oh for sure, I think it’s great to work on this other part of my game,” he said. “If it’s helping the team be successful, than that’s what I want.”
The 18-year-old said making the transition from Stratford to Penticton has been a big jump. However, the well-spoken University of Alaska Anchorage commit feels he has adapted and is executing. When the Vees announced Nash’s National Collegiate Athletic Association commitment to the Seawolves, Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson said they not only look for great players, “but great people for our program and Jared is certainly a quality individual.”
“He exudes character and his play reflects that on the ice,” said Harbinson. “We’re excited for him after the hard-work he put in and we look forward to preparing him for next level.”
Nash chose to commit to the Seawolves because he felt comfortable right away and they were able to lure him with his love of the outdoors, as well as the direction the program is headed. Nash’s family grew up on a farm in the country and along with his love of hockey, he fishes, hunts and hikes. All things he can do while playing for the Seawolves.
Nash is excited to play for Seawolves coach Matt Thomas, who is driven to pursue excellence.
Over the weekend, Nash and the Vees split their weekend homestand with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
After winning 3-2 in overtime in the South Okanagan Events Centre on Dec. 16, the Vees bowed to the Silverbacks 5-2 at the Shaw Centre on Dec. 17. Ryley Risling and Chris Klack scored for the Vees in a heated match that resulted in nearly 71 minutes in penalties given.
The Vees return to action on Dec. 30 when they host the Merritt Centennials.