Riley Nash Signs NHL Contract With Carolina Hurricanes

When defenseman Brendon Nash ’10 signed a professional contract with the Montreal Canadiens in early April, it was unknown whether his brother, rising senior center Riley Nash, would forgo his final season on East Hill for an opportunity to play in the NHL. That answer came over the weekend when the announcement came that Riley had agreed to a three-year entry-level contract with the Carolina Hurricanes, the team that recently acquired his rights from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2010 NHL draft.

Nash, who was originally drafted by the Oilers with the 21st overall pick in the 2007 NHL draft, leaves Cornell after compiling 102 points (37 goals, 65 assists) in 102 games over his three years with the Red. In his junior season, the younger Nash scored 12 goals and dished out 23 assists, including seven scores against ECAC opponents.

Riley Nash’s NHL contract pays him $550,000 in 2010-11, $600,000 in 2011-12 and $700,000 in 2012-13. It comes with a $262,000 signing bonus. He will also receive $65,000 for all three seasons from an AHL contract. At the Hurricanes’ prospect conditioning camp last week, Carolina’s assistant general manager and assistant coach Don Francis told Nash that he had a good shot at making the team. Nash informed head coach Mike Schafer ’86 of his decision on July 16 and signed his deal on July 19.

The Red will be well-represented in the NHL for years to come, as Nash is now the fourth player from last year’s team to sign a professional contract. Captain Colin Greening ’10 was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the seventh round of the 2005 NHL draft, and officially came to terms on an agreement with the team in late April. Greening received the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for his achievements on the ice and in the classroom in his final season on East Hill.

Goalie Ben Scrivens ’10 agreed to a one-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs in April after four years between the pipes at Cornell. The Red’s all-time leader in shutouts was a finalist for the prestigious Hobey Baker Award his senior season.

Defenseman Justin Krueger ’10 could also see time in the professional ranks after being drafted in the 7th round in 2006 by the Carolina Hurricanes; however, he hasn’t yet come to terms on a contract with the team.

Next year’s team will feature three players who have already been drafted by NHL teams — rising junior forward Sean Collins (Columbus Blue Jackets) and rising sophomore defensemen Nick D’Agostino (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Braden Birch (Chicago Blackhawks) — in addition to an incoming class that includes Ithaca native and U.S. Under-18 Team starting goaltender Andy Iles.

Original Author: Evan Rich