The Washington Capitals announced on Wednesday that they have loaned defenseman Bobby Nardella to Djurgadens IF of the Swedish Hockey League for the 2020-21 season.
Nardella had a slow start to his 2019-2020 campaign, but would quickly find his groove. With four goals and 27 assists in just 41 games ( .76 points per game), he lead all Bears rookies in points and was second among all Bears defensemen in points (behind Christian Djoos). He was also a key component to the resurrection of the Bears power play midway through the season.
Nardella jumped from college to the AHL with no problem, as he quickly found his way with the Bears. He has played in just 43 AGL games since graduating from Notre Dame, but has already become a key asset for the Bears blue line and power play units.
Already 24-years-old, Nardella’s development trajectory is somewhat compressed. He will need another good season in the AHL before he gets a potential shot at a bottom pair spot in Washington. His size is indeed a deterrent, but his scoring ability counters that. He will get a future shot at the next level if he can increase his scoring, continue to lead the power play, and show strong leadership on the Bears.
FROM CAPITALS MEDIA RELEASE
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have loaned defenseman Bobby Nardella to Djurgardens IF of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) for the 2020-21 season, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Nardella, 24, led Hershey defensemen with 31 points (4g, 27a) in 41 games last season and tied for first on the team in assists and power play assists (13). The 5’9”, 180-pound defenseman’s 0.76 points per game tied for fifth among AHL defensemen with at least 30 games played and his 13 power play assists tied for second among AHL rookie defensemen.
The Rosemont, Ill., native recorded 34 points (8g, 26a) in 38 games in the 2018-19 season with the University of Notre Dame, setting a personal collegiate career high in points and a team-high in points and assists. Nardella was named as a Hobey Baker Award nominee and to the NCAA (B1G) First All-Star Team. A two-time winner of the NCAA (B1G) Championship each of his last two seasons at Notre Dame, Nardella averaged 0.54 assists per game during his collegiate career. Additionally, Nardella was named to the NCAA (Hockey East) All-Rookie Team and was named as Notre Dame’s Rookie of the Year during his freshman year (2015-16). In 147 career games with Notre Dame, Nardella recorded 103 points (24g, 79a).
At the international level, Nardella represented Team USA at the 2014-15 World Junior A Challenge, recording two assists en route to a gold medal in Kindersley, Saskatchewan. Additionally, Nardella won a silver medal in the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Tournament held in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In 2012, as a member of USA Hockey’s U-17 team, Nardella won a gold medal at the Five Nation Tournament held in the Czech Republic.
The Capitals signed Nardella as a free agent on April 5, 2019.
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By Jon Sorensen