Former London Knights land in new locations in NHL

Boston Bruins forward Rick Nash addresses the media prior to the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, on Sunday, Feb. 25, in Buffalo, N.Y. Jeffrey T. Barnes/ AP Photo

Five former London Knights joined new teams right before the 2018 NHL trade deadline.

Rick Nash, Chris Kelly, Patrick Maroon, Vladislav Namestnikov and Greg McKegg are all in new uniforms.

Namestnikov, who helped the Knights to win the 2012 Ontario Hockey League Championship, went from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the New York Rangers in the largest deal of deadline day in terms of scope and stardom. Tampa Bay acquired Ryan McDonough and J.T. Miller from the Rangers for Namestnikov, Brett Howden, Libor Hajek, a first-round pick and a conditional second-round pick.

Namestnikov is in his first full season in the NHL and has already topped 20 goals this year.

McKegg was on that same Knights team with Namestnikov that got to overtime of the 2012 Memorial Cup final before bowing out to the host Shawinigan Cataractes. McKegg has played for the Maple Leafs, the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh and was dealt to Carolina by the Penguins right before the deadline for Josh Jooris. McKegg is from St. Thomas, Ont.

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Patrick Maroon spent the 2007-08 OHL season in London and recorded 90 points in 64 games. He will take his big body and soft hands from Edmonton to New Jersey where Maroon will hope to rediscover last year’s scoring touch that saw him score 27 goals. He has 14 this season.

READ MORE: 2018 NHL trade deadline recap

Nash has already played a game for his new team, the Boston Bruins. It happened on Sunday, February 25, the same day that Boston acquired him from the New York Rangers for Ryan Lindgren, Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey, a first-round draft pick in 2018 and a seventh-round pick in 2019.

Nash has 41 points in 77 career playoff games. He led the Columbus Blue Jackets to their first-ever playoff appearance in 2009.

He was the first player Mark and Dale Hunter drafted after they purchased the Knights in 2000. He went fourth overall in the OHL Priority Selection behind Patrick Jarrett, Tim Brent and Richard Power. The 33-year old from Brampton had five shots on goal for Boston in roughly 17-and-a-half minutes on the ice in his Bruins debut on Feb. 25.

READ MORE: Greyhounds defeat Knights as London clinches playoff spot

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Chris Kelly is now a member of the Anaheim Ducks. He signed with them on Feb. 25. Kelly was the captain of the London Knights in 2000-01 until he was traded at the 2001 OHL trade deadline to the Sudbury Wolves.

He has had an outstanding NHL career, highlighted by a Stanley Cup championship with the Boston Bruins in 2011, but this has been quite a year for Kelly. He began it on a tryout with the Edmonton Oilers and while he didn’t stay in Edmonton, the Toronto native got a call from the Ottawa Senators and wound up in Belleville playing for the Senators’ AHL affiliate in November. From there, Kelly joined Team Canada for the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland, and his play at the tournament not only earned him a spot on Canada’s Olympic roster, but Kelly was named team captain.

His performance in Pyeongchang helped Canada to win a bronze medal, as Kelly scored twice in the bronze-medal game against the Czech Republic.

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READ MORE: Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir to be remembered as Canada’s faces of 2018 Winter Olympics

Max Domi’s name was also attached to trade talk leading up to the deadline, but he remained in Arizona.

Domi had told, “I like being on the Arizona Coyotes, I like living here and I like my teammates. But it’s not up to me and whatever happens, happens.”

Domi is in his third season in with the Coyotes who drafted him 12th overall in 2013. He helped the Knights to win two Ontario Hockey League championships in 2012 and 2013.

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