2009-10: Nolan De Jong played five midget major games for the South Island Royals as a 14-year-old and played for the Saanich Braves Bantam AA team in British Columbia. He had no points and two penalty minutes with the Royals. De Jong was selected by Regina in the seventh round (137th overall) of the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft.
2010-11: DeJong joined the Royals on a full-time basis, skating in 35 regular season games and three playoff contests. He scored 3 goals with 9 assists and had 73 penalty minutes in 38 games. South Island was fifth in the regular season and lost to the Greater Vancouver Canadians in a best-of-three playoff series.
2011-12: DeJong played for the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies in his hometown – skating in 56 games in his first season. He scored 2 goals with 15 assists and had 20 penalty minutes. The Grizzlies finished last in the Coastal Division; missing the BCHL playoffs.
2012-13: DeJong returned to Victoria for his second BCHL season and committed to playing college hockey at Michigan in 2013-14 in October. He was selected to represent Canada West in the 2012 U19 World Junior A Challenge. De Jong scored 5 goals with 19 assists and had 16 penalty minutes in 51 games for Victoria. The Grizzlies were one of the BCHL’s big turnaround stories, winning 33 games and finishing first in the Island Division. De Jong scored 2 goals with 2 assists and had 6 penalty minutes in 10 playoff games as Victoria reached the second round. He skated in four games for Canada West and had no points with 2 penalty minutes. Ranked 111th amongst North American skaters, De Jong was selected by Minnesota in the seventh round (197th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.
2013-14: De Jong played in 29 games for Michigan as a freshman. Primarily a third pairing defender for the Wolverines, he had 5 assists and was +5 with 12 penalty minutes. Michigan finished third in the Big Ten in the conference’s inaugural season but was upset by Penn State in the conference tournament and did not receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. De Jong did not dress for the playoff game against the Nittany Lions.
2014-15: De Jong skated in 23 of 37 games for the University of Michigan in his sophomore season. Competing for ice time on one of the nation’s deeper defense corps, he had 9 assists and was +5 with 14 penalty minutes. The Wolverines finished third in the Big 10 Conference, advancing to the league championship game by defeating second-place Michigan State, 4-1, in the semifinals. Michigan lost to Minnesota, 4-2, in the championship game and did not receive an NCAA tournament bid.
2015-16: De Jong was one of three defensemen to skate in all 38 games for the University of Michigan in his junior season. He had 11 assists and was +22 with 14 penalty minutes. Michigan finished second in the Big 10 to Minnesota after a late season loss to the Gophers and back-to-back losses to Ohio State. The Wolverines rebounded to win the Big 10 tournament, defeating Minnesota, 5-3, in the championship game. The Wolverines defeated Notre Dame, 3-2 in overtime, in the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals before falling to eventual national champion North Dakota, 5-2, in the regional final.
De Jong is a mobile defender with some offensive ability, but he has a below average frame right now. His skating style fits in well with the system used by Michigan coach Red Berenson and he is part of a deep group of defensemen for the Wolverines.
De Jong emerged as a full-time defenseman for the University of Michigan in 2015-16 after seeing limited ice time in his first two seasons with the Wolverines. Having steadily added the bulk necessary to compete on a consistent basis, he will return to the Wolverines for his senior season before looking to start his pro career. His progress to this point suggests De Jong can be a consistent two-way defenseman, though he will likely spend some time at the minor pro level before being NHL-ready.