Colorado Rubber

Colorado’s and Utah’s Authoritative Voice of Hockey

Rampage alum Pai advances to junior hockey, signs with BCHL’s Bulldogs for 2024-25 season


Nayan Pai was born in California and made the move to AAA hockey in 2020-21, leaving home to play for the Colorado Rampage.

Pai spent the 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2023-24 seasons with the Rampage and is set to play junior hockey next season with the BCHL’s Blackfalds Bulldogs.

“The opportunity came up when the Bulldogs reached out,” said Pai, originally from Redwood City, Calif. “I went up to Blackfalds and had a great few skates. I really liked it up there and decided to sign with them. I always thought that my play style can fit the BCHL really well. When I went up to Blackfalds, everything there was second to none. The coaches and team were so welcoming and helpful. I see Blackfalds as a place where I can develop and help the team win.

“I’m looking forward to living in Canada and getting to experience a new place. I also look forward to meeting my new billets and being part of the Blackfalds community.”

Pai led the Rampage 18U AAA team in scoring with 45 goals and 90 points in 67 games this past season. In four playoff games, he added two goals and an assist.

“Nayan is a player who brings high-end speed and energy every time he is on the ice,” said Blackfalds director of hockey operations Al Parada. “He has good vision and hockey IQ as well as a great work ethic to go along with his skill. Nayan will be a player who will be able to step into junior next year with us and play at the pace we want to play at. On top of that, he is a great kid and will fit into the culture we are building here in Blackfalds.

“I am really looking forward to seeing Nayan in a Bulldogs jersey next season.”

Making a mark with the Bulldogs is at the top of Pai’s to-do list.

“I think if I play my game, the adjustment to junior hockey will be natural,” Pai said. “This offseason, the gym will be a big piece to build strength. I know I’m ready to make an impact every night, and I’m excited to play.”

Pai said hockey has been part of his life as long as he can remember.

“I started playing hockey when I was three years old,” said Pai. “My dad grew up in Philadelphia and is a huge Flyers fan. Pretty much from birth, I would watch the Flyers games with my parents. I fell in love with the game and my mom and dad got me on the ice.

“I played for the Golden State Elite Eagles in California before moving to Colorado and billeting here for my 15s season. I played for the Rampage that year, coached by Pat Bingham. Coach Bingham was a huge part of my hockey development along with the owner of Rampage, Andrew Sherman. In recent years, I have been coached by Brett Clark and Tyler Shipstad with the Rampage. They have also had a huge impact on my hockey journey.”

That hockey journey is something Pai plans to extend past the junior hockey ranks, too.

“My goal is to play NCAA Division I college hockey,” Pai said. “Right now, the focus is committing to a school and having a great season in the BCHL.”

Photo provided by Nayan Pai

— Matt Mackinder

(May 11, 2024)

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