6:31PM: McKenzie notes that Nicholls will spend the rest of the season with Saskatoon and that includes the Memorial Cup.
His contract starts next year.
5:48PM: Bob McKenzie says that Nicholls has signed a standard entry-level contract that has a cap hit of $925,000 per season and a signing bonus of $92,500 each season.
4:57PM: The Rangers have announced that they have signed forward Josh Nicholls.
He was a 2010 seventh round draft pick of the Maple Leafs but was not signed to a contract. He was then passed over in the 2012 draft and became a free agent.
Nicholls is a teammate of Rangers prospect Shane McColgan and is in his fifth season with the Saskatoon Blades.
He is 6-2, 186 lbs and a right handed shot. He is listed as a RW.
Hockey’s Future says that Nicholls is a two-way forward with some offensive upside. He can play center and RW, forechecks well and is “dangerous in all areas of the ice.”
His stats in the WHL are:
- 08-09: 9 goals and 16 assists in 63 games
- 09-10: 18 goals and 30 assists in 71 games
- 10-11: 34 goals and 53 assists in 71 games
- 11-12: 30 goals and 38 assists in 56 games
- 12-13: 41 goals and 32 assists in 65 games.
In 2012 he was ranked 20th in Maple Leafs blog PPP’s top 25 prospects.
Rangers Press Release
NEW YORK, March 5, 2013 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with free agent forward Josh Nicholls.
Nicholls, 20, has registered 41 goals and 32 assists for 73 points, along with 41 penalty minutes and a plus-19 rating in 65 games with the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this season. He is tied for fifth in the WHL with a career-high in goals, is tied for fourth in the league in shorthanded goals (four) and 18th in points. Nicholls leads Saskatoon in goals and shorthanded goals, ranks second in points, fourth in power play goals (five), and is tied for fourth in assists. He has recorded 19 multi-point efforts, including 11 multi-goal performances.
Nicholls was named WHL Player of the Week for the week ending December 16, tallying three goals and five assists in four games over the span. On Friday, Nicholls registered his 300th career WHL point with the primary assist on a goal by Rangers’ prospect Shane McColgan in a 4-1 win against the Brandon Wheat Kings.
The 6’2, 196-pounder has skated in 326 career regular season games over five seasons with Saskatoon, registering 132 goals and 169 assists for 301 points, along with 204 penalty minutes and a plus-100 rating. Nicholls established WHL career-highs in assists (53) and points (87) during the 2010-11 season. He tied for 11th in the league in points and 10th in assists that season. Nicholls has also registered eight goals and eight assists for 16 points, along with 18 penalty minutes in 31 career playoff contests with Saskatoon.
The Tsawwassen, British Columbia native was originally selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs as a seventh round choice, 182nd overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.