BRANDON NOLAN BIO
A proud Ojibway from the Garden River First Nation in northern Ontario, Brandon grew up constantly playing outside, and in the winter months, there was only one place you could find him, playing on the outdoor rink. "I remember playing outside as much as I could, constantly working on improving my hockey skills. I would work on my skating and stick handling, but I loved working on my shot. All I wanted to do was play hockey and I wanted nothing more than to play in the NHL."
Brandon would grow up and go onto play in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with the Oshawa Generals, eventually becoming a 2 time OHL All-Star and a consistent top scorer in his 3 years playing for the Generals.
It was Brandon's strong play with the Oshawa Generals that helped him get drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the 3rd round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, then again in the 4th round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks.
Brandon played professional hockey for 5 years, playing for the Manitoba Moose (AHL), Columbia Inferno (ECHL), Vaxjo Lakers (Swedish League), Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL), Albany River Rats (AHL), and the Carolina Hurricanes (NHL). He eventually reached his boyhood dream of playing in the NHL when he was called up from the AHL’s Albany River Rats to the Carolina Hurricanes on December 22, 2007. "I remember sitting in my apartment in Albany and receiving a call from my coach telling me that I was being called up to play for the Carolina Hurricanes. Wanting to sound tough, confident, and ready to go to while on the phone with my coach, all I wanted to do was get off the phone so I could cry. I broke down like a baby shedding tears of joy because I knew what I worked my entire life for and dreamed about as a boy, was about to become a reality."
Realizing a lifelong dream is not easy, and Brandon did it. Brandon would go onto play 6 games for the Carolina Hurricanes that season, but on February 22, 2008, his life would change forever. Brandon suffered a serious concussion during a game in the AHL and was forced to retire from the game he loved.
After taking 2 years off to recover from post concussion syndrome, Brandon enrolled into Durham College hoping to obtain a diploma in Business Administration, specializing in marketing. Putting forth his best effort and applying the skills he learned and the values that were instilled on him by his parents Ted and Sandra (hard work, perseverance, completing what you start), Brandon eventually graduated in 2012 as the highest ranking graduate in his entire program, as well as winning multiple awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for academic excellence.
Like his father Ted, giving back to First Nations and First Nations youth is very important to Brandon. Having co-created the 3NOLANS First Nation Hockey School with his father and brother, and having directly affected the lives of over 2,500 youth, Brandon looks forward to continuing to be a positive role model for First Nations people for many years to come.
- 2000 Golden Horseshoe Jr. B Hockey League Rookie of the Year
- 2001 Oshawa Generals Scholastic Player of the Year
- 2013 National Aboriginal Achievement Award
- 2013 Durham College Paul Vessey Premier’s Award
- Drafted 72nd overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils
- Drafted 111th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks
- Chosen to compete in the 2002 and 2003 Hershey Cup CHL All-Star Series as an OHL Eastern
Conference All-Star representative
- Selected to the OHL’s Second All-Star Team in 2003 as voted by the league’s General Managers
- Chosen to compete in the 2005-2006 ECHL All-Star game (43 GP, 20 G, 31 A, 51 PTS)
- Led the Albany River Rats (AHL) in goals in 2007-2008 (48 GP, 22 G, 26 A, 48 PTS)
- Played in first NHL game for the Carolina Hurricanes on December 22, 2007
- Graduated in 2013 from Durham College as the highest ranking graduate in program