The Washington Capitals were told recently that Chase Priskie wouldn’t be signing with them, but that hasn’t stopped them from inking a top college defenseman. The team has signed a two-year entry-level contract with Notre Dame defenseman Bobby Nardella today. Since the Capitals are at their 50-contract limit for this season the deal will have to start in 2019-20. Nardella is expected to join the Hershey Bears on an amateur tryout for the remainder of this season.
Nardella, 22, played four years with the Fighting Irish and found great success moving the puck up quickly to their talented forwards. Recording 103 points in 147 NCAA contests, the 5’9″ defenseman set career highs with eight goals and 26 assists this season. He also wore an “A” as an alternate captain with the club, but will now face a brand new challenge at the professional level.
The undrafted Nardella has never been considered a top prospect, but has taken part in NHL development camps before and has an obvious tie to professional hockey. His father, Bob Nardella, played for years with the Chicago Wolves (in both the IHL and AHL) and won a Calder Cup in 2002. He now serves as an assistant with the team. The elder Nardella also twice suited up for Italy in the Olympics, but never did play in an NHL game. His son will try to change that with the Capitals organization.
Chris Kuc of The Athletic (subscription required) broke the news ahead of the official announcement.