With the loss of some key players to the USA hockey programs where hockey games are being played, the Nanaimo Clippers have some very big holes to fill as they await the start of the regular season, hopefully in mid-February depending on Provincial Health Orders. One of the holes in the line-up was nicely filled with the addition of Nolan Hutcheson, a three year veteran of the Ontario Hockey League and the Sudbury Wolves. Nolan was a 4th round, 80th overall pick in the OHL Priority draft in 2016 coming out of the Kingston Minor Hockey program. While playing 191 regular season and playoff games in the OHL, Nolan put up 51 goals and 96 points overall. In his best year, 2018-2019, he had 44 points in 66 regular season games finishing 5th overall in scoring on the team not too far behind Team Canada standout and 2nd overall NHL draft pick Quinton Byfield. He added 7 points including 4 goals in 8 playoff games that year.
Darren Naylor, Head Coach and GM explained; “Nolan is a big, 6ft 5in centre who has a knack for the net as shown by his 51 goals in probably the top junior league in the world. He has a high skill set and moves well for a player of his size. Nolan has a nasty side to him as well and is a fierce competitor who plays a full 200-foot game.”
Wes Mussio, owner and President of the Clippers added; “We are very hopeful for a regular season so I have had my staff scouring Eastern Canada for some elite level players that can fill the gap left by 5 key players departing to the USA to play hockey after the recent PHO extension put our program further on hold. Nolan is a great pick-up for us filling a hole left by Tim Washe. Nolan knows how to score goals, goes to the greasy areas of the rink and moves well for a big body. Nolan will provide much-needed leadership to our younger players while continuing to grow his game in preparation for him playing at Queens University next season. I hope this acquisition confirms to everyone that the Clippers are ready to jump on the ice and play hockey once the PHOs are removed that are preventing the playing of games.”