Ex-Bruin captain finds new hockey home

Nick Holden has left the Columbus Blue Jackets, signing a National Hockey League contract with the Colorado Avalanche.

Nick Holden’s time in the Columbus Bluejackets organization is up, and the former Chilliwack Bruin is moving on.

The 26-year-old defenceman has signed a two-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche. His is a two-way deal that will pay him $150,000 at the American Hockey League level and $600,000 at the National Hockey League level.

Holden has a chance to crack the Avalanche roster, one that isn’t deep in defensive depth.

The Alberta native is coming off a fantastic season in the AHL.

He was the ninth highest scoring defenceman in the circuit, posting nine goals and 39 points for the Springfield Falcons.

He was fifth on the Falcons in scoring, and added another three assists in eight playoff games.

The six-foot-three and 210 pound blueliner has logged 295 games at the AHL level with the Falcons and Syracuse Crunch. He got into five NHL games in 2010-11, and two more last year. He’s still looking for his first big league-point.

Holden played for the Western Hockey League’s Bruins for two seasons (2006-08), captaining the team in his final year. In 2007-08 he had 22 goals and 60 points in 70 games, numbers good enough to get him his first pro contract.

Another former Bruins captain, Brandon Manning, played alongside Holden for 10 games at the tail end of that 2007-08 season.

Manning has been qualified by the Philadelphia Flyers and currently holds restricted free agent status.

The 23-year-old spent most of last season with the Adirondack Phantoms, but did get into six games with the Flyers.

He had two assists.

Another former Holden teammate, Ryan Howse, begins his third pro season in the Calgary Flames organization.

He’ll be attending the team’s development camp alongside former Bruins linemate Roman Horak.