The best offensive stretch of Riley Nash’s professional career has resulted in a trip to Carolina.
The Hurricanes officially recalled the Checkers center on Monday to complete a lineup shuffle caused by an upper-body injury to Jeff Skinner. Nash is expected to make his NHL season debut as the Hurricanes look to extend their point streak to seven games at Montreal tonight.
Nash, a 23-year-old, third-year pro, is coming off the most productive game of his professional career, a four-point performance (2g, 2a) at Milwaukee on Saturday that tied the Checkers’ franchise record for most points in a single game. All four of those points came on the power play during the 8-2 victory that featured a team-record five power-play goals.
The game was the culmination of a hot scoring stretch for Nash, who has 20 points (7g, 13a) in his last 18 games. Saturday’s outing allowed him to surpass his single-season career high in points set two seasons ago, as he now ranks second on the Checkers in scoring with 35 points and leads the team with 24 assists through 50 games played. He is also tied for third on the team with a plus-11 rating.
With the recall not yet official on Sunday afternoon, Nash was a healthy scratch for the Checkers’ 2-1 loss in Grand Rapids.
Nash, an Edmonton Oilers first-round pick in 2007, played his first five NHL games with Carolina last season, earning one assist. He becomes the seventh player on Carolina’s roster who started the season in Charlotte, joining forwards Drayson Bowman and Tim Wallace, defensemen Justin Faulk, Michal Jordan and Bobby Sanguinetti and goaltender Dan Ellis.