Darnell Nurse
Image: OHL

Darnell Nurse

Hometown:

Hamilton Ontario

Currently Playing In:

Pro

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. 

2014-15: Nurse made his NHL debut as a 19-year-old, skating in two early season games with the Oilers before being returned to the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He finished the year with the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons and was part of Canada’s gold medal-winning U20 team at the 2015 World Junior Championship. Nurse had no points nor penalties and was -2, averaging 17 minutes of ice time in two NHL games. Joining the Barons during the AHL playoffs, he had 4 assists and was +3 with 4 penalty minutes in four games. Nurse had 1 assist and was +8 with 6 penalty minutes in eight games for host Canada at the World Juniors. He scored 10 goals with 23 assists and was +18 with 58 penalty minutes in 36 games during the OHL regular season. The Greyhounds finished first in the West Division, falling to Erie in the Western Conference finals. Nurse scored 3 goals with 5 assists and was +9 with 26 penalty minutes in 14 OHL 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 has been a workhorse for Edmonton in 2015-16 — averaging over 20 minutes of ice time per game for the Oilers as a rookie. He is active in the middle of the play and is a strong presence at both ends of the ice. The Oilers continue to struggle in their own end but Nurse figures to be a big part of things as Edmonton continues to address its defensive weaknesses.

 

(Video) First NHL Goal: Oilers’ Nurse goes coast-to-coast for first marker

by Ken McKenna
on
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Photo: Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse (#25) celebrates his first NHL goal with teammates in the third period of the Oilers’ game against the Minnesota Wild (courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

Edmonton Oilers rookie defenseman Darnell Nurse made the most of his first NHL call-up in 2015-16, netting his first NHL goal which gave the Oilers a brief lead in the third period of their 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild. Read more»

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by Kady Hobbins
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Photo: Connor McDavid is the consensus top prospect in hockey but the burden of changing the Oilers’ fortunes is not his alone (courtesy of Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

As the Edmonton Oilers begin the club’s most highly-anticipated season in recent memory, Hockey’s Future has a few new names to introduce in this year’s preliminary Top 20. Without needing any preamble, the most notable is Connor McDavid, who has managed to drum up world-wide attention. His addition to the club helped sell out the annual preseason rookie tournament in Penticton, British Columbia featuring the Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames. Read more»

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

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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
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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»

Darnell Nurse leads off the Edmonton Oilers Top 20

by Kady Hobbins
on

Photo: Edmonton draft pick Kyle Platzer has more goals this season than the last two combined. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images

Photo: Edmonton draft pick Kyle Platzer has more goals this season than in the last two combined. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images

In this edition of the Edmonton Oilers Top 20, both Martin Marincin and Oscar Klefbom have graduated from the rankings, both surpassing the NHL game maximum to still be considered a prospect by Hockey’s Future’s standards. Darnell Nurse continues to hold down top spot as he dominates his junior competition with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL, and 2014 third-overall draft selection Leon Draisaitl follows closely behind him.

Read more»

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