2008-09: Josh Nicholls was selected by the Blades in the 2nd round (27th overall) in the 2007. In his rookie season he played 63 games for Saskatoon recording nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points.
He was also a member of Team Pacific at the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Port Alberni, BC where he recorded three assists in six games.
2009-10: Nicholls second season saw his point totals almost double to 48 in 71 games. He scored 18 goals and assisted on 30 others while also posting a +19. He finished fifth on his team in scoring as a 17-year-old. Nicholls was selected 182nd overall by the Maple Leafs in 2010. He was ranked 199th by ISS and 90th by Central Scouting for North American skaters.
2010-11: Nicholls was the second-leading scorer on a Saskatoon team that had the WHL's best record. In his third season of junior hockey, he scored 34 goals with 53 assists and was +50 with 47 PMs in 71 games. Nicholls scored 4 goals with 2 assists and was an even plus/minus with 6 PMs in 10 playoff games as the East Division champion Blades were swept by eventual WHL champion Kootenay in the second round.
2011-12: Nicholls returned to Saskatoon for his fourth season. He was off to a fast start for the Blades before suffering a serious knee injury in December that kept him out for almost two months. Despite the injury he scored 30 goals for the second straight season – finishing with 30 goals and 38
assists in 58 games – and was +6 with 24 penalty minutes in 56 games. The Blades finished third in the East Division and faced Medicine Hat in a first round playoff series. Nicholls scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was -3 with 2 penalty minutes in four games against the Tigers. He was not signed by the Leafs and re-entered the 2012 NHL Draft but was not selected.
2012-13: Nicholls played for Saskatoon as a 20-year-old; sharing the scoring lead for the Blades with Dallas prospect Matej Stransky. He was third in the WHL with 47 goals and had 38 assists in 71 games; finishing +19 with 43 penalty minutes. The Blades finished first in the East Division but were swept by Medicine Hat for the second year in a row. Nichols had 1 assist and was -4 with 9 penalty minutes in the series. Saskatoon participated in the Memorial Cup as the host team – handing eventual champion Halifax its only loss – and in four games during the tournament Nicholls scored 4 goals with 2 assists and was +1 with 4 penalty minutes. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Rangers in March, 2013.
An interesting combination of size and speed, Nicholls is a two-way forward who displays some offensive upside. He is able to line-up both at center and on the right-wing. Very thin at the moment being only 186lbs and 6’2 so weight will be a priority over the next two seasons. Not a physical force, but forechecks well. He has developed into a well-rounded forward over the last few seasons; dangerous in all areas of the ice.
A long-term project with intriguing upside, Nicholls will spend the 2012-13 season in the WHL where he will continue maturing. Nicholls will continue his prominent offensive role with Saskatoon this season.
Projection: Versatile two-way forward with size.
Nicholls signed a contract with the New York Rangers in March of 2013.