WINNIPEG – Summer just got a lot better for Nelson Nogier.
The blueliner inked a one year, two way contract worth $700,000 on Tuesday, bringing him back to Winnipeg for another season.
The Saskatoon native said he didn’t have any doubts he’d be back.
“They’ve kind of shown faith in me since day one,” said Nogier who was drafted by the Jets in the fourth round in 2014.
“With the way my exit meeting had went, I was quite confident that I was going to be (back).”
With the off-season changes to the Jets roster the 23-year-old defenceman sees an opportunity this fall.
“Obviously that opportunity is there. I think they have a lot of us young prospects that they have brought in who are aware of that,” said Nogier.
“But in the same breath, I’m going to continue doing what I do and that’s keeping my head down and keep taking steps forward.”
Nogier played 74 games with the Manitoba Moose who went on a furious tear in the second half of the season that ended up with them just missing the American Hockey League playoffs. Manitoba sat five games below .500 on December 22nd before going 27-15-3-2 to close out the season. Nogier admits the Moose run was beneficial for his development as a pro hockey player.
“It was tremendous. Looking back on my season individually, I wasn’t thrilled with the way things started out. But with the help of Pascal (Vincent) and Eric (Dubois) helping me to get back on track and kind of settle into my game for the second half of the year,” said Nogier.
“It just so happened to be at the same time that we were coming together as a team and we were able to strong together a bunch of wins. Kind of developing the understanding what it takes to make a push for that second season, the playoffs. So there were definitely a lot of lessons there that when we learned that we will definitely be taking into next year.”
On top of the 74 AHL contests, Nogier made an appearance with the Jets in Brooklyn against the New York Islanders. He ended up playing just over ten minutes in the 3-1 win registering a shot on goal and a blocked shot. While it was just one night in the NHL, that game reaffirmed to Nogier that he has the ability to play at the highest level.
“Yeah, I mean at the end of the day that’s kind of what you are working towards is stringing together a full season (in the NHL) whether it’s one or 82 games,” said Nogier.
“It’s definitely a process from the moment you are drafted. You are playing through the last years in junior to your entry level contract. I totally understood that and bought into the whole process and the path the Jets organization has set out for me. So yeah it was just one game but I think it adds a little more fuel to the fire to keep pressing forward.”