Blue Jackets promote Rick Nash to director of player development

In this 2012 file photo, former Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash (61) watches a faceoff. (Kathy Willens/AP)

The Columbus Blue Jackets have promoted Rick Nash from the role of special assistant to the general manager to director of player development, the club announced Wednesday.

The move was among several front-office changes, including bumping up Josef Boumedienne to director of pro scouting, hiring Derek Dorsett and Mark Letestu as development coaches and replacing Jim Corsi with Brad Thiessen as goaltending development coach.

The Blue Jackets' director of high performance, Nelson Ayotte, also retired after five seasons with the team.

“We are always looking to strengthen our hockey operations group and these moves do just that, particularly in the area of player development,” said GM Jarmo Kekalainen in a press release.

“In Rick, Derek, Mark and Brad, we have four former players with a combined 34 years of experience in the NHL and 17 in the AHL, as well as having played major junior and college, so they will be able to share a wealth of knowledge and experience with prospects throughout our organization. They are also passionate about the Blue Jackets, our city and what we are building here.”

Nash, who wrapped up a decorated 15-year NHL career in 2018, has spent the past two years with the Blue Jackets' front office.

The 37-year-old was the organization's first-overall pick in the 2002 NHL Draft and is the franchise's all-time leading scorer, putting up 547 points in 674 games as a Blue Jacket from 2002-12.

Over the course of his 1,060-game career, the native of Brampton, Ont., made seven All-Star Game appearances, tallying 437 goals and 805 points, and co-winning the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy in 2003-04.

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