Darnell Nurse
Image: OHL

Darnell Nurse

Hometown:

Hamilton Ontario

Currently Playing In:

CHL

Birthday:

1995-02-04

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2013

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2013

Height:

6-5

Acquired:

1st round (7th overall), 2013

Weight:

192 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2010-11: Darnell Nurse appeared in two OJHL games with the St. Michael’s Buzzers and skated for the Don Mills Flyers midget minor AAA team in the Greater Toronto Metro league. He was scoreless with 4 penalty minutes for the Buzzers. In 38 games with Don Mills he scored 11 goals with 18 assists and had 72 penalty minutes. The Flyers participated in the OHL Cup and in seven games Nurse scored 2 goals with 3 assists and had 18 penalty minutes. Nurse was selected by the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the first round (third overall) of the 2011 OHL Priority Selection.

2011-12: Nurse played in 53 games for Sault Ste. Marie in his first OHL season, represented Canada Ontario in the 2011 U17 World Hockey Challenge and played for Team Canada in the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship. He scored 1 goal with 9 assists and had 61 penalty minutes; finishing minus-15 as the Greyhounds missed the OHL playoffs. Nurse scored 1 goal with 2 assists in five games for Canada Ontario at the WHC and skated in seven games for Canada’s bronze medal-winning U18 team; finishing plus-four with no points and 4 penalty minutes.

2012-13: Nurse was a big part of the Greyhounds success as Sault Ste. Marie reached the OHL playoffs for the first time in three seasons. An assistant captain, he was the only player to skate in all 68 regular season games and scored 12 goals with 29 assists; finishing plus-15 with a team-high 116 penalty minutes. In the six-game playoff series with Owen Sound he scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was minus-1 with 6 penalty minutes. Nurse was selected to play for Canada in the 2013 U18 World Junior Championships. He was rated fourth amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Edmonton in the first round (7th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft. Nurse signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Oilers in July 2013. 

2013-14: Nurse made his pro hockey debut in April 2014 — joining Edmonton AHL affiliate Oklahoma City following the OHL playoffs. He was -2 with no points nor penalties in two regular season games and had 1 assist with 7 penalty minutes in the three-game playoff series with eventual Calder Cup champion Texas. Nurse played in 64 regular season games for Sault Ste. Marie in his third OHL season, scoring 13 goals with 37 assists and finishing +1 with 91 penalty minutes. The Greyhounds finished first in the West Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. Nurse scored 3 goals with 5 assists and was -2 with 12 penalty minutes in nine playoff games. 

Talent Analysis

Darnell Nurse is a big, mobile, gifted blueliner who has a lot of Chris Pronger in his game. He’s an imposing presence on the blueline and has the tools to be successful at both ends. Beyond the bloodlines and support (aunt, father, mother are all elite athletes -- uncle by marriage is Donovan McNabb), Nurse has it where it counts most -- between the ears. He was a leader during his junior career, playing a key role in Sault Ste. Marie's turnaround from a non-playoff team to a championship contender. Nurse continues to add strength and bulk to his ideal NHL frame. He is capable of playing in all situations and can log big minutes.

Future

Nurse made his NHL debut — appearing in two games with the Oilers in October 2014 before being returned to the OHL for the 2014-15 season — and skated for the gold medal-winning Canada U20 team at the 2015 World Junior Championship. After missing the OHL playoffs for the third time in four seasons in Nurse's first season in 2011-12, Sault Ste. Marie has steadily improved and has loaded up for a run at the OHL championship and a Memorial Cup run this season. Nurse is right in the middle of things and continues to be a force at both ends at the junior level. Long-term he projects as a top pairing blueliner, although his offensive game may not be refined enough to consider him a true number-one.

 

Top 50 NHL Prospects: Reinhart, Vasilevskiy lead Top 10 section of Spring ranking

by HF Staff
on
Sam Reinhart - Team Canada

Photo: Kootenay Ice forward and Buffalo Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart tied for the scoring lead at the 2015 U20 World Junior Championship, posting 11 points in seven games for Team Canada (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

The Spring edition of the Hockey’s Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects concludes with the top 10 prospects.

The top 10 consists of six forwards, two defensemen, and two goaltenders. Five of the players in this top 10 were selected in the 2014 NHL Draft while nine are former first round picks. Read more»

Prospect Faceoff: McDavid vs. Nurse, more intriguing prospect matchups

by David Hahn
on
Connor McDavid - Erie Otters; Darnell Nurse - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds - Prospect Faceoff 4/29/15

Photo: Likely future NHL teammates Connor McDavid (L) and Darnell Nurse (R) are going head-to-head for the right to move on to the 2015 OHL Championship series (courtesy of Aaron Bel/OHL Images and Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

In the final Prospect Faceoff for the 2014-15 season, we feature a matchup too good to be true, as Connor McDavid looks to close out the OHL Western Conference Final against Darnell Nurse and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Meanwhile, the semi-finals continue in the WHL as top prospects collide. In the AHL, two forwards clash in a make-or-break Game Five. Read more»

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