When talk of the top defensemen available for the 2013 NHL Draft bubbled up over the course of the 2012-13 season, those discussions pretty much began and ended with potential first overall selection, Seth Jones.
But there is other good defensemen available in this draft, with perhaps the second-best of this year's crop being Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds rearguard, Darnell Nurse. For a team drafting in the top 10 that is in need of a potential top-pairing defender, Nurse's combination of size and ability could be difficult to pass up, especially once Jones is off the board.
Comparisons to Chris Pronger have been made, although Nurse may not possess the offensive ability that Pronger possessed. But Nurse appears to have the defensive skills and mean streak that were very much a part of Pronger's game, qualities that made Pronger one of the more difficult defensemen to face at the NHL level.
Nurse, part of a Greyhounds defensive group that included OHL All-Stars Ryan Sproul and Colin Miller, put up decent offensive numbers in his second OHL season, scoring 12 goals and adding 29 assists for 41 points. The Hamilton, ON native also picked up 116 penalty minutes while logging a +15 rating for the season.
Nurse spoke with the media at the 2013 NHL Combine, a portion of which is captured in this Hockey's Future video.
Hockey's Future will be dripping out video interviews from the 2013 NHL Combine over the next few weeks as part of our coverage of the 2013 NHL Draft. You can keep up with these videos as they are released by visiting the HF home page on a regular basis, or by following the HF Twitter feed at @HockeysFuture.