Bruins

Their time together was short, but Jake DeBrusk looking to carry lessons learned from Rick Nash

Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Aside from his established role as a spark plug on the Bruins’ second line, Jake DeBrusk has also taken up another role in Boston’s locker room — with the 22-year-old winger tasked with bestowing new nicknames to his teammates.

He might usually go by “Bergy”, but DeBrusk granted the moniker of “Selke” to Patrice Bergeron for his established, 200-foot-game. Hell, he even put his own name in the hat for David Krejci’s newborn son earlier this month.

While he only suited up in 23 games with the Bruins, veteran forward Rick Nash was not immune to DeBrusk’s willingness to dole out sobriquets — earning the nickname “Nasty” from his younger teammate.

DeBrusk had good reason for the title. Just 11 years old at the time, DeBrusk was in attendance for Nash’s signature play in his lauded career — with the power forward toe-dragging and dangling his way past a pair of Arizona Coyotes skaters en route to one of the best goals you’ll see across any hockey league.

Looking back on Nash’s career in wake of the veteran’s decision to finally hang up his skates, DeBrusk found himself in the right place at the right time out in Glendale to witness Nash’s wizardry with the puck.

“It was a nasty goal from Nasty,” DeBrusk said. “Especially at that game — he toe-dragged two guys while he was on a 4-on-4 with like two minutes left and scored. I think that’s when I became a Rick Nash fan for sure.”

Like many young players growing up in the early 2000s, DeBrusk became familiar with the hours of highlight-reel footage that Nash generated during his tenure with both the Blue Jackets and Rangers.

So when the Bruins made a move to acquire Nash from New York at the 2018 trade deadline, DeBrusk admittedly felt a bit star struck. Still just a 21-year-old rookie, DeBrusk suddenly found himself on a line with a pair of veterans with over 1,300 combined points on their resumes.