by Tim Morris
You might say that Bodie Nobes skated his way to being a defenseman.
“I grew up playing defense,” recalled the Ottawa Jr. Senator defender. “I was always a good skater. When I was playing offense I would be the first person back on defense.”
That versatile skating led to Nobes becoming not just a top defender but, an outstanding two-way player, who is the point man on the Junior Senators power play.
“I definitely have a good transition game, I move well and bring the puck up the ice well to start the offense,” he remarked.
Nobes’ puck handling in transition has made him a key offensive player with 24 assists during the regular season and nine goals. Those skills have put him at the forefront of the Ottawa power play.
“On the power play I’m the quarterback,” he explained. “We like to move the puck around but when a (shooting) lane is there we’ll take the shot. The coaches trust me to make the right play.”
Nobes, who has taken up playing guitar as a hobby, said the Junior Senators’ approach to the power play depends on how the opposition defends them. If they are very aggressive Ottawa will make quick passes that have the defenders skating all over the ice. If they stay back to protect the net, that’s when Junior Senators look for the shooting lanes and pepper the net with shots.
This offensive prowess doesn’t mean that Nobes doesn’t take his defense seriously. That is still what the 5-10, 170-pounder takes the most pride in.
“Of course scoring a goal definitely gives you a rush,” he pointed out. “On defense, a big poke check or backcheck is a proud moment that the team appreciates.”
Nobes, in his first full season in the CCHL (last season was limited to scrimmages by the pandemic restrictions) knows he is part of pretty special team.
“I’m in a better place playing for the Junior Senators,” he said. “We’re such a tight team, we play for each other. We’ve all had the same goal (winning a championship) from the beginning.”
The Junior Senators are taking aim at winning both the Fred Page and Bogart Cup championships for the third consecutive year and Nobes believes the team is ready for the challenge.
After claiming the regular season and Yzerman Division titles, Ottawa began its playoff Cup quests sweeping the Smiths Falls Bears, 4-0, in the first round of the playoffs to advance to the Bogart Cup semi-finals.
Bodes has raised his game in the playoffs scoring six points in the four-game sweep on two goals and four assists.
Nobes grew up in a family of hockey players led by his late father Kelly Nobes, who played for McGill University and professionally in Spain and coached McGill University (Bodie’s uncles also played at the college level). Being the son of a coach certainly helped Nobes’ game. It made him a student of game.
“Being around his team and watching his team’s games was educational,” he said, “Afterwards we would talk and he’d point out things that I didn’t see.”
Unfortunately, Kelly Nobes passed away two years ago from the effects of CTE from too many concussions.
“It opened my eyes to the severity of concussions and to be more aware of them,” he noted.
Nobes’ dad is never far from Bodie’s mind when he is on the ice and he would certainly be proud of what his son has accomplished.
While excited about the playoffs and the chance to win a Cup championship, Nobes is also excited about the next step of his career, play Division I hockey in the United States for the University Maine.