I'm convinced that Rick Nash should be a lock for any All-Star Game and any Canadian Olympic team for the next decade or so, barring any major injuries. While I would say he hasn't his maximum potential yet, he is certainly nearing it. He reminds me of Mario Lemieux early in his career - big, strong, deceptively fast, amazing hands, and a game-breaker when he really puts his mind to it. He has shown flashes of superstardom on the international stage, as he did in the World Championships last season. Much like Lemieux's breakout tournament in the 1987 Canada Cup, it appears that Rick Nash is on the verge of being an NHL stud for a long time.
In case you missed last night's highlights, Rick Nash absolutely embarrassed the Phoenix Coyotes to win the game for the Blue Jackets. He literally walked around Derek Morris, followed that up by making Keith Ballard look like a pylon, and then pulled a David Copperfield by making Mikael Tellqvist disappear. Let's go to the video.
Best goal of the season thus far without a doubt.
The best part of this entire article is that it's not just one highlight that has shown his development. Nash has a bag of tricks that he's been pulling out every now and then to make highlight reels everywhere. He certainly made the highlight reel on October 25, 2007 against the St. Louis Blues.
Between the legs for a powerplay goal. Unreal.
Nash seems to use his size and speed well. His long reach gives him a Lemieux-like advantage when it comes to finishing goals, and the Red Wings found that out in September of 2007.
A backhand of beauty. Gotta loved the mic'ed up players.
Of course, we go back to the World Championships where Nash was crowned the MVP of the tournament. He scores an amazing goal where he basically carried a Finnish defender to the net before bulging the twine behind the goaltender.
Nash takes on Finland, and doesn't back down.
The first overall pick of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft seems to be rounding into form quite nicely. Having Ken Hitchcock work with him to be a more complete player has certainly paid off for the team, and Hitchcock should be commended for his commitment to Nash's development. Nash appears to be on the precipice of becoming one of the most dominant players in the league.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!