The Quebec Nordiques didn’t hesitate to call Nolan’s name when they picked first overall at the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. Nolan remained with the franchise when it relocated to Colorado but was traded to San Jose early in the 1995-96 season. San Jose’s representative at the All-Star Game in both 1996 and 1997, Nolan gained confidence by helping Canada win the gold medal at the World Championships in 1997. Nolan’s star shone brightly in 1999-00 when he finished second in the NHL with 44 goals. He also led the league with 18 power-play goals and eight points while shorthanded. In the summer of 2001, Nolan was one of eight players named to Canada’s Winter Olympic Hockey Team. At Salt Lake City, he earned three assists in Canada’s successful campaign in capturing the gold medal.
The Toronto Maple Leafs obtained Nolan from the Sharks days before the 2003 NHL trade deadline. Upon his arrival with the Leafs, Nolan has continued to provide grit and strong veteran leadership on the ice, while surpassing the 700 point plateau in 2003-04. Owen also played with Phoenix Coyotes, Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild before retiring.