Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced today the signings of forward Petteri Nokelainen and defenseman Brendon Nash to one-year contracts (2012-13). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Nokelainen, 26, completed his fifth season in the NHL in 2011-12, his first with the Canadiens. The centre notched seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in 56 games, including one winning goal. He registered 37 shots on goal and 46 hits. The 6’1’’, 202 lbs forward served 37 penalty minutes, while averaging 8:48 seconds of ice time per game. Nokelainen suffered a season-ending upper body injury on March 31 at Washington.
Since the 2005-06 season, Nokelainen has tallied 41 points (20 goals, 21 assists) in 245 NHL regular-season games. The centre has scored one of his goals on the penalty kill and three winning goals, while recording 103 penalty minutes. Nokelainen has accumulated two helpers in 21 career NHL playoff contests.
Prior to joining the Canadiens, Nokelainen had played with the New York Islanders, Boston Bruins, Anaheim Ducks and Phoenix Coyotes during his NHL career. Native of Imatra, Finland, he was acquired from the Coyotes on October 23, 2011, with Garrett Stafford, in return for Brock Trotter and a seventh-round draft pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Nash, 25, missed the entire 2011-12 season due to a shoulder injury suffered at the team’s last training camp in September. The 6’3’’, 214 lbs defenseman took part in two games with the Canadiens’ in 2010-11, including his first career NHL game, on February 15 against the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre. Nash was held pointless, while recording two shots on goal and averaging 10:12 minutes of ice time per game.
Nash recorded 30 points (5 goals, 25 assists) in 75 games in 2010-11, his first season with the Hamilton Bulldogs in the AHL. Three of his goals were scored on the powerplay and he added one winning goal. Nash served 58 penalty minutes, registered 81 shots on goal and maintained a +22 plus/minus differential.
A native of Calgary, Nash signed with the Canadiens as a free agent on March 30, 2010.