Two years ago, Bauer Hockey released a brand new line of equipment to fill a gap where there was no supply to meet the demand. That line was called Nexus, and with it came a whole new line of sticks. The Nexus line of sticks featured a mid-kick flex profile, something that had been custom for NHL players for a number of years, and eventually made it to the retail level. A couple years later, Bauer is now on their 2nd generation of Nexus products, including the Nexus 8000 stick. Bauer Hockey was kind enough to provide us with this new stick for review, and we have compiled our thoughts and opinions below.
Specs: Bauer Nexus 8000, 87 flex, P92 curve, Lie 6
Design and Construction:
The Nexus 8000 stick has built upon what was an already successful first generation product, the Nexus 1000. It is a true one piece stick designed with a mid-kick flex profile. To accomplish this, Bauer has made the handle and lower hosel softer than the middle portion of the shaft. The stick is constructed using TeXtreme Carbon Fiber, which is 20% lighter than traditional carbon fiber. They’ve also utilized their proprietary eLASTech Technology which is said to extend the life of the stick and the pop of the stick.
Bauer has constructed the blade of the Nexus 8000 with their PowerSense core to offer consistent puck feel and pop. Compared to the Vapor line, this blade is softer, which will help increase power on snapshots and one timers. The connection point between the blade and shaft is also reinforced in order to prevent premature breakdown as well as preventing the blade from opening up while shooting to increase accuracy.
In terms of design, Bauer has given this stick a great dark and almost blacked out look. Dark grays and blacks are predominant throughout the shaft, with dark blue accents near the handle. The addition of the blue to the Nexus 8000 alters the look from the Nexus 1000, which was lacked any additional color.
The PowerSense core on the Nexus 8000 stick is interesting, to say the least. Puck feel is good, and about what you would expect from a top end composite stick. However, there are sticks with better feel on the market today. I think the softer blade on the Nexus 8000 might cause you to lose a bit of feel compared to the Vapor line with a stiffer blade. If you prefer the puck feel from a softer blade though, then the Nexus line of sticks may be right up your alley.
Shooting and Accuracy:
I remember hearing a lot of buzz about the mid-kick flex profile before the Nexus line was available. Pro hockey players were requesting this custom flex profile and were happy with the results. They loved the shooting power, and overall kick they would get from that type of flex.
From my experience, however, I’m not understanding what all the fuss is about. In terms of shooting power and pop, I was not that impressed with what I was getting. I remember a specific game I had where I cradled a pass in the slot, turned and fired it top corner. While the shot was accurate and went exactly where I wanted it to, it seemed to take forever to not only load up and snap a shot off, but also for the puck to make it to the back of the net.
My conclusion was that the mid-kick flex profile on the Nexus 8000 takes longer to load up than other sticks with a low kick. Additionally, it wasn’t loading as much on wrist or snap shots as it maybe would on a booming clapper or one-timer. When you’re in the slot on an opportunity like that, you need to load and release as quick as possible to increase your chances. Giving the goalie more time to get into position and react to the shot isn’t going to help your case.
Slapshots with the Nexus 8000 seemed to work out a bit better than wristers or snap shots in my experience. While I still don’t believe the load and release was that quick, the shots were closer to what I had expected. They came off the blade with the speed and accuracy which I had been used to using other sticks.
Speaking of accuracy, this is one area where I think the Nexus 8000 stick really excelled. My shots may not have always had the speed, power or pop I was used to, they seemed to hit the mark I was aiming for more often than not. Plus, with the P92 curve, I was able to roof the puck with ease. This type of curve takes a bit of getting used to if you’re coming from a stick with less curve, but if you like to go top shelf, the results are incredible with the P92.
Perhaps it’s the eLASTech resin, or maybe it’s the TeXtreme carbon fiber going to work, but Bauer sticks have continued to impress me when it comes to durability. I know that everyone has different experiences, but mine have been nothing short of exceptional in the durability department. Any scratches I have seen have been minimal and unobtrusive, while the stick itself has continued to feel solid in my hands. Additionally, the toe of the blade shows no chips or marks of any kind, something that has been pretty common for me in the past.
Bauer has remained a market leader for all hockey products, and it’s no surprise why they stay on top. Bauer’s advanced research and development team has allowed them to create three unique product lines with great features in each line. The Nexus is just another example of a product created by Bauer which has it’s own niche of consumers in the marketplace.
My experiences, however, lead me to believe that the Nexus stick line is not the one for me. The true mid-kick flex profile did not allow me to get shots off as quickly as I had expected, nor did it load the shots the way I prefer. While accuracy and durability proved to be excellent for me, I wouldn’t consider that enough to make me buy this stick. I need and demand the best performance out of my sticks, and this one just didn’t get it done for me.
Have you used the Bauer Nexus 8000 stick? Leave a comment below with your personal review and experiences with the Nexus 8000 to help HWB readers make the best stick buying decision for their needs!