When the official JFTC wheel was spun to see what blogger would get to write about Jordan Nolan for the "Top 25 under 25", I nearly fainted when the golden marble landed on my name. Finally a lifetime of warmth, kindness and sacrifice has been formally recognized by the gods! Hopefully I can keep my emotions in check long enough to write a few coherent paragraphs about everybody’s favorite hockey playing demi-god.
Jordan Nolan was a 7th round pick in 2009. He distinguished himelf in juniors playing for the Soo Greyhounds. In his final season, he averaged a point per game and was basically labeled a bully by the league commissioner after getting served with a 20 game suspension for instigating a fight and subsequently injuring R.J. Mahalak.
Nolan took everyone by surprise in February of 2012 when he received a call-up and saw a lot of time on the 2nd line winging Mike Richards. He’s been a line-up regular ever since. Nolan played in 44 out of 48 games last season and logged 46 PIMs and 6 points.
Going forward, Nolan needs to show that he can do a little more than cause other players to leave the game on a stretcher (he proved recently that he hasn't lost a step in that department). Last season he was the only player to finish with negative possession numbers while also taking the 2nd most penalties on the team. Contrast that with Kyle Clifford who took a lot of penalties but also didn’t hurt the team’s ability to keep pushing play forward while he was out there.
Nolan will have a lot to prove and will likely need to compete for playing time this season, but he has come a very long way in a very short time.