DARNELL

I think Darnell Nurse is going to have a say this fall and there are going to be tough decisions to make on Kingsway. I’ve said many times (here and on the Lowdown) that Edmonton would have to make multiple moves in order to force Nurse to No. 7 on the current depth chart. They haven’t done it yet. Before the draft, in a post called The Gap, I wrote the following:

  • I don’t think Nurse spends much if any time in Bakersfield, California. The Oilers would need to add two legit pieces in order for anyone to reasonably argue that Nurse was the No. 7 option for the club. I suspect he’ll be third pairing opening night LH side for the Oilers and maybe that’s where we should start the conversation. Source

They have added three pieces (Andrej Sekera, Eric Gryba and Griffin Reinhart) and Nurse remains (imo) inside the top six options for 2015-16. The Oilers depth chart is completely out of time if we list the group by cap number:

  1. Andrej Sekera $5.5M
  2. Niki Nikitin $4.5M
  3. Justin Schultz $3.675M (est)
  4. Mark Fayne $3.625M
  5. Andrew Ference $3.25M
  6. Griffin Reinhart $3.213M (includes bonuses)
  7. Darnell Nurse $1.713M (includes bonuses)
  8. Eric Gryba $1.25M
  9. Oscar Klefbom $1.244M (includes bonuses)

The Oilers have three veterans (Nikitin, Fayne and Ference) making $11.375M and two youngsters (Schultz, Reinhart) who could make $6,888,000 (or more) if they can cash all the bonuses. The possible “value” contracts in this group are Darnell Nurse, Eric Gryba and Oscar Klefbom, with Andrej Sekera the lone veteran seemingly poised to earn his keep this winter.

CHIARELLI’S PLANS

IF the Oilers could count on Schultz, the pairings might look like this:

  1. Klefbom—Fayne
  2. Sekera—Schultz
  3. Ference—Nikitin
  4. Gryba

That’s an awful defensive seven and yet the players excluded on the original list (Nurse, Reinhart) are the ones who can be sent down without waivers.

NUMBERS, 2014-15

oilers fancy 2014-15This is sorted by Corsi For 5×5 % and also includes ZS’s and scoring, along with average TOI per game. Looking at these numbers, I think the idea of Sekera and Klefbom as 1-2 LH blue makes the most sense (as above) but the right side might need a little shake up. What about this?

  1. Sekera—Fayne (sub 50% ZS’s)
  2. Klefbom—Schultz (ZS push)
  3. Nikitin—Gryba (the rest)
  4. Ference

Among callups (and you can see by the GP this is very small sample size, it looks like Reinhart might be first choice for drastic ZS’s and maybe Musil and Davidson would also be candidates for that role. Nurse was used for only two games, but I’d say his role may also be more defensive, which (for me) suggests that the third pairing might be the best plan for tough ZS’s. We know Darnell Nurse had a shut down role at the WJ’s and in the OHL and we know from reports he played (and played well) in the big minutes of the game in OKC:

  1. Sekera—Fayne (top opposition and tough ZS’s, McLellan’s “Vlasic” pairing)
  2. Klefbom—Schultz (Soft parade and ZS push when possible)
  3. Nurse—Gryba (Tougher ZS’s, try to keep away from the impact F’s of the WC)
  4. Ference

Peter Chiarelli can do us all an enormous favor by making another deal, but for me Nikitin is the logical choice for odd man out, and Darnell Nurse might be the best choice for rookie to keep. I’m not sure that fits well with anyone reading this, but welcome your input.

As an aside, have I ever mentioned a three-for-one deal?

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221 Responses to "DARNELL"

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  1. RT26 says:

    Trade Jultz, Draisaitl and 2016 #2 draft pick to STL for Shattenkirk, consider elevating that to a #1 if they balk.

    Buy out Nikitin and start Nurse and Reinhart as a #1 pairing on Bakersfield.

    Sekera. Shattenkirk
    Klefbom. Fayne
    Ference Gryba
    Davidson

    Buy out Ference next summer

  2. Pouzar says:

    Rip Fan Winkle:
    The Oil are stacked left side. Need to find enough strength right side. Perhaps it’s in house, but off hand is not ideal.

    Armstrong saying no big trades. Yet they are getting bigger like the Canucks did after losing to the Bruins and the Oilers after Kassian gooned Gagner, ruining their team.

    Does Drai get AP? Should they given the Oil need skilled size?

    It’s my opinion Drai would be awesome on the right side. He is a sublime passer off his backhand, has good straight line speed, and protects the puck well on his off wing rushes.

  3. Pouzar says:

    Jeff Marek ‏@JeffMarek
    OHL News – Windsor to announce new coach today, expected to be former Oilers asst coach Rocky Thompson

  4. Pouzar says:

    RT26:
    Trade Jultz, Draisaitl and 2016 #2 draft pick to STL for Shattenkirk, consider elevating that to a #1 if they balk.

    Buy out Nikitin and start Nurse and Reinhart as a #1 pairing on Bakersfield.

    Sekera. Shattenkirk
    Klefbom. Fayne
    FerenceGryba
    Davidson

    Buy out Ference next summer

    Captain Kirk is a soft minutes killer. Does it well. But I ain’t giving up Drai++ for that. We need 1 more shutdown quadrant Ace.

  5. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy: 1. Find me something that goes against my random claim!
    2: Here

    OR

    1. Find me something that goes against my random claim!
    2: nm…found it!

  6. Loyal2theoil says:

    Rocky Thompson about to be announced as the head coach of the Windsor Spitfires! Per Jeff Marek

    Wish Rocky all the best!

  7. sliderule says:

    Pouzar,

    That is also my opinion.

    In playoff and M cup he seemed to like to lead breakout from the right side.

    Some of his best chances and goals were on right side.

    Protects the puck well on his backhand.

  8. Pouzar says:

    sliderule: Pouzar, That is also my opinion.In playoff and M cup he seemed to like to lead breakout from the right side.Some of his best chances and goals were on right side.Protects the puck well on his backhand.

    That and he is 100% on board for playing wing. Love that kid.

  9. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Pouzar,

    That short handed goal he scored flying up the right side was beautiful. Great display of speed, power, and precision.

  10. Pouzar says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: Pouzar, That short handed goal he scored flying up the right side was beautiful. Great display of speed, power, and precision.

    Yup. Then if the rush is not there he can button hook and use his sublime passing skills. I love the idea.

  11. oliveoilers says:

    Pouzar: Yup. Then if the rush is not there he can button hook and use his sublime passing skills. I love the idea.

    That’s how that button hook is supposed to be used. We got a little predictable when we used it on EVERY OZ entry.

  12. Amadeus says:

    Would Draisaitl, Yakupov, Schultz, and 2016 1st Round pick be enough to pry Alex Pietrangelo?

  13. oliveoilers says:

    Amadeus:
    Would Draisaitl, Yakupov, Schultz, and 2016 1st Round pick be enough to pry Alex Pietrangelo?

    Probably, but why would St Louis do that? Though we did manage to pry a certain other d-man from them last time their numbers didn’t jive.

  14. frjohnk says:

    Amadeus:
    Would Draisaitl, Yakupov, Schultz, and 2016 1st Round pick be enough to pry Alex Pietrangelo?

    That could end up being
    – a number 1 center,
    – a decent 2nd line winger,
    – a D man, if he can put it together, a PP specialist who puts up top 20 points,
    -and a lottery pick if we don’t make the playoffs

    for
    a number 1 D man.

    Calgary laughs

  15. oliveoilers says:

    frjohnk: That could end up being
    – a number 1 center,
    – a decent 2nd line winger,
    – a D man, if he can put it together, a PP specialist who puts up top 20 points,
    -and a lottery pick if we don’t make the playoffs

    for
    a number 1 D man.

    Calgary laughs

    Surely there are GMs pissed at Burkie who are willing to undersell us a prized asset to spite him?

  16. Woodguy says:

    Amadeus:
    Would Draisaitl, Yakupov, Schultz, and 2016 1st Round pick be enough to pry Alex Pietrangelo?

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

    TTTTTTTTTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    MMMMMMMMMMUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHHHH

  17. Bryan says:

    Enough with the trade Draisaitl talk. Ask Montreal how easy it is to find a big, talented centre. Let’s just calm down and wait for an opportunity with a desperate or silly team. These high end players are too difficult to acquire to be just tossing them into trades like pieces of candy.

  18. oliveoilers says:

    Bryan:
    Enough with the trade Draisaitl talk.Ask Montreal how easy it is to find a big, talented centre.Let’s just calm down and wait for an opportunity with a desperate or silly team.These high end players are too difficult to acquire to be just tossing them into trades like pieces of candy.

    So we’re back to the old ‘trade border-line NHL talent for #1 D and hope they don’t have google let alone a pro-scouting dept’?

    Otherwise known as the Rights for Omark vs. Weber case.

  19. rickithebear says:

    If we take PC at his word:
    (comp:team)
    XXX-Fayne (1st:3rd)
    Sekera (1st:3rd)-XXX
    XXX-Grygba (2nd/3rd)

    If you go by Best offensive D
    Sekera-XXX
    Klefbom-XXX
    XXX-Schultz

    Fayne (1st:3rd) 41.62 CA/60 2.11 EVGGA/60
    Sekera (1st:3rd) 53.41 2.20
    Ference (1st/2nd:4th) 62.16 2.83
    Klefbom (2nd:4th) Brutal w/ Fayne in 1st comp role
    Grygba (2nd/3rd) 53.90 2.12
    youth. 58.65 2.23 3rd comp
    vets 51.95 1.93 1st/2nd comp
    Nikitin (2nd:3rd) 52.72 2.21 He kills 2nd with lower team support
    Schultz (3rd:2nd)

    Results do not Match!
    Ference has to go!

  20. Pouzar says:

    oliveoilers: That’s how that button hook is supposed to be used. We got a little predictable when we used it on EVERY OZ entry.

    This. LD is a different beast. Big bodied with skill and not afraid to drive the net.

  21. dkers77 says:

    I believe Klefbom has to move to the right side, and be mentored by Sekara.
    The Oilers 3 studs for the future are Klefbom, Nurse, and Reinhart. All of them will be too good to play 3rd pairing in the future… so some one has to switch sides.

    Klefbom played very well at the Worlds on the right side… though Reinhart has spent some time on the right as well, It’s my opinion that Klebom should be the guy…

    Buyout Nikitin, trade Schultz…. and this is what your left with opening night:

    Sekera – Klefbom
    Reinhart – Fayne
    Ference – Gryba
    Nurse

    Eventually Nurse – Klefbom will be top pairing in time….once Nurse has a couple seasons in the show under his belt…

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