RE 15-16 DARNELL NURSE: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE

The Edmonton Oilers badly need Darnell Nurse to become what he appears to be: A complete defender who can close a gap in a heartbeat, move the puck, smash mouth the opposition, and douse the Flames. We love him already. (Cover photo by Connor Mah)

DARNELL NURSE 2014-15

  • 5×5 points per 60: nil
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil
  • Qual Comp: 11th toughest among D
  • Qual Team: 10th best available among D
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 56.4%
  • Corsi for 5×5 % REL: 9.3
  • Zone Start: 78.6%
  • Zone Finish: 55.6%
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 2 shots
  • Boxcars: 2GP, 0-0-0

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER

nurse vollmanRE 15-16: 50GP, 2-8-10 .200

  1. Wow. Nurse beats out Nikitin and Ference? Not at the beginning of the season, but yes. Early in the year, I think Nurse is recalled and added to the third pairing. I don’t think he leaves the lineup until 2035.
  2. Who will he be paired with? Eric Gryba is my guess, could be Ference although my prediction has Gryba in the No. 6 role.
  3. Where’s Nikitin? Where’s Ference? You’ll find out this week, promise.
  4. I’m surprised you’ve put him here. Why? I’ve talked about Nurse jumping the whole damn bunch multiple times and I believe that’s exactly what we’ll see.
  5. He’ll pass Reinhart? I think so, yes. Griffin Reinhart has a year’s pro experience to his credit but Nurse is a more dynamic talent.
  6. Why Gryba? I think we’ll see—at the beginning of the year—pairings of Andrej Sekera—Mark Fayne and Oscar Klefbom—Justin Schultz. The third pairing, and I think they’ll have their share of tough zone starts, will probably be Nikita Nikitin—Eric Gryba. Ference as the seventh D.
  7. The captain sits? No way. I think we would be wise to assume that Andrew Ference isn’t one of the six best defensemen on the team for 2015-16. I understand he had tough zone starts and opposition last year, but the veteran appears out of gas. I’m not bitching about it, Edmonton signed him in good faith and will buy him out next summer. For 2015-16, he’s going to spend significant time in the press box.
  8. And the Russian? Nikitin is another matter, we’ll handle both this week.
  9. Where does Nurse come in? I think he spends a little time in Bakersfield, but not bloody long. Honestly, I think Darnell Nurse might be in the top 4D by the end of next season. What he’s done so far tracks extremely well, he’s got a chance to be very good—I mean top pairing good.
  10. Sure but why rush him? Why hold him back? NHLE: 82, 7-17-24.
  11. You really think Nurse is going to win the day? Yes. Seriously. I believe McDavid will be the story of camp, but Nurse is going to be the guy management talks about at night. Keep him? Send him down? I suspect they’ll send Nurse out but it won’t be long.
  12. Where will he play by season’s end? I think there’s a chance Nurse ends up with Schultz, with Klefbom moving up with Sekera.
  13. Your season ending pairings? Sekera—Klefbom, Nurse—Schultz, Reinhart—Fayne. I wrote about it here.
  14. You see Nurse as being top drawer? I believe there are things he’s done already that suggest we’re looking at a substantial talent, yes. Brad MacPherson did a splendid job looking at Nurse’s comparables and the names include some of the best current defensemen in the Western Conference. We can’t ignore the company Nurse is keeping.
  15. Nurse could be better than Klefbom? I think that’s possible, yes. It’s the reason (for me) trading for Griffin Reinhart may not pay immediate dividends—it’s tough to break in two defensemen at the same time.
  16. And yet you have Todd McLellan doing exactly that. Well, I have him dividing basically one season (50 games for Nurse and 27 for Reinhart) between the two talents, but expect both men in the everyday lineup by the end of the 2015-16 season.
  17. How does that set up 2016-17? If the pairings are as I projected above (Sekera—Klefbom, Nurse—Schultz, Reinhart—Fayne) at the end of the year, the only question marks will be Justin Schultz and the buyout of Andrew Ference for his final year. That’s how I see this going.
  18. How long have you felt Nurse was going to be feature rookie on defense? All along, even when the club traded for Reinhart. It’s no sin to wait 50 games for Reinhart, he is a legit talent and McLellan may in fact want him earlier. I just don’t see it happening before Nurse.
  19. You have in the past suggested Nurse would spend time in Bakersfield. Yes. I think it’s probable now, the Oilers added three men in the offseason and Peter Chiarelli is tied to all three. Still, McLellan will want to work with the six best talents available. Back before the draft, I wrote this on the blog: “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
  20. And after the draft and free agency you’re changed your view slightly. Yes. Now I think we’ll see Nurse play 15 or fewer games in Bakersfield before the call. I wouldn’t rule out his making the opening night lineup but there are a lot of veterans and one assumes Todd McLellan will go with a more established player early, hoping those men still have one more year in them.
  21. Why this song? I see this song from the point of view of the fan. Please, please, please let Darnell Nurse be the defenseman we’ve been waiting for all these years. I don’t just mean since Pronger, it’s been forever since Edmonton drafted a top-pairing blue (and now they may have two if Nurse and Klefbom make it). You could argue Edmonton hasn’t had a drafted defenseman emerge as a top D since Paul Coffey. Seriously.
  22. Why this song? The single line “haven’t had a dream for a long time” is stark and properly reflects the incredible loss of these years. The absolute sadness and rage of wandering for so long, spending so much youth with no hope, wasting much of Horcoff and Hemsky and others in their prime, Ryan Smyth, Jesus it’s a list. So please, please, please let this dream come true. Let Darnell Nurse become what he looks to be and let this team run over and run wild and win. Please, baby Jesus, let us get what he want. It’s been so long.

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61 Responses to "RE 15-16 DARNELL NURSE: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE"

  1. verdad2.0 says:

    Whatever the Nurse growing pains are , get on with them.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Verdad: Agreed.

  3. Pouzar says:

    Wow thx for the Brad MacPherson link. Very interesting article comparing non-PP performance. Nurse is da sh!t!!!

  4. PunjabiOil says:

    Haha great writing. Namely question 22 pressing again to get the right answer when the response in 21 wasn’t sufficient.

  5. kinger_OIL says:

    – Nurse has a higher ceiling it would appear than Griff: but 2 things:

    1) Griff has a full season in the AHL
    2) Griff is the guy’s pick and paid in full

    – Conventional wisdom dictates that Griff will get more leash and provided with more opportunities to play this year.

    – LT your 2016-2017 D has 3 D with less than 250 games, and Jultz. Jultz would be fine in a better D group, sheltered, using his strengths, but a playoff team can’t shelter 66% of their D – too much hope and prayer, if this is the D in a year. We can’t wait to let the D “develop and mature” for a few more years.

  6. Woodguy says:

    If Nurse progresses as fast as some of Blue Bullet’s comps did he solves a lot a lot a lot of problems on this team. (thanks for the link btw….excellent stuff)

    If Neely would just take Ference back everything would look pretty slick for big progression on the back end this year.

    In McDavid’s name I pray.

  7. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    kinger_OIL,

    That’s not really fair.

    66% have less than 250 games, fine.

    But who is being sheltered? Right now we’re devoting a heck of a lot of time to sheltering the more experienced memebers of the club. We weren’t sheltering Marincin, nor are we currently sheltering Klefbom (unless he’s paired with Schultz, but that’s not his fault).

    If nurse plays 50 games this year, there is no way we’re sheltering him next year either.

  8. Jordan says:

    I like the taste of your coolaid LT.

    If your projection for Nurse here is close, and the hockey news’ point projection for AHJ are accurate, I think this could be the season we’ve been waiting for since June of 2006.

    Who’s on your guest list today?

  9. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy:
    If Nurse progresses as fast as some of Blue Bullet’s comps did he solves a lot a lot a lot of problems on this team. (thanks for the link btw….excellent stuff)

    If Neely would just take Ference back everything would look pretty slick for big progression on the back end this year.

    In McDavid’s name I pray.

    I think Nurse cracks the 15 pt non-PP number no problem. Cracking the opening night lineup is an entirely different matter. I think he will prove he belongs on the roster but Chia has way too much fat to trim to make it a reality.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Jordan:
    I like the taste of your coolaid LT.

    If your projection for Nurse here is close, and the hockey news’ point projection for AHJ are accurate, I think this could be the season we’ve been waiting for since June of 2006.

    Who’s on your guest list today?

    I’m off this week!!! Yeah me!!

  11. kinger_OIL says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    – Klef struggled for periods of time before getting to this level, and his sample size of excellence is small

    – Marincin had flashes of goodness, and also struggled

    – If sheltered is not the right word: I guess I should say ” you are going to have 66% of the D that do not have sample sizes of sustained excellence, to make one comfortable that they are good enough as a D Corps -its best to assume they will struggle as they develop, because to hope that this D will develop differently than what history tells us, is not setting up the D corps for success”

    – Playoff teams don’t hope to break-in 4 D, and have a 5th with holes like Jultz.

    – This D has promise but too much hope of perfect straight-line development

    – This D corps doesn’t have a balance of proven effective and capable D’s who can show the kids how to play D, and shelter them as they go through their development struggles

  12. dustrock says:

    Feel like we should have gone through The Smiths catalogue more in the dark days of the Empire (Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now, What Difference Does It Make, Still Ill, etc. 🙂 )

    Other thing I’m wondering is if we see Ference and Nikitin in a feature role in the first 20 games as part of a “hey, they can still play!” trade marketing.

  13. Soup Fascist says:

    The last skilled “big man”‘on D the Oilers had was Sheldon Souray. While he likely had more offensive weaponry than we will see from Nurse, the Big Sexy did not skate nearly as well and had limitations in his own end. As well he was past his best before date.

    I have heard the difference between Nurse from his recent stint in OKC playoff action this spring compared to his first in 2014 was leaps and bounds, which is great to hear.

    No basis or analytical support other than a gut feel but I have said since they were drafted that Darnell Nurse will ultimately be a more complete and impactful NHL defenseman than Caleb Jones. I am still comfortable thinking that.

    EDIT: Hey the last guy who said he was going to make BOLD statements and then didnt STILL has a job – and sorry I meant Seth.

  14. Woogie63 says:

    There is lots on and off the ice that Nurse needs to experience for the first time. For Christmas 2015, i hope the Oilers give him his first extended look in the NHL.

  15. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Soup Fascist:

    No basis or analytical support other than a gut feel but I have said since they were drafted that Darnell Nurse will ultimately be a more complete and impactful NHL defenseman than Caleb Jones. I am still comfortable thinking that.

    These are the kinds of bold predictions I love reading on the internet. Really putting yourself out there. Let me try.

    I think next year Connor McDavid will outscore Jordie Benn.

  16. Ducey says:

    Brad MacPherson did a splendid job looking at Nurse’s comparables and the names include some of the best current defensemen in the Western Conference. We can’t ignore the company Nurse is keeping.

    He also is in the same grouping as Barker, Teubert and Plante (and Wishart and Parent and Sbisa)

    *weeps*

    Just 5 of the 14 are guys I would consider top pairing NHLers. Plus those stats don’t adjust for TOI. We know Nurse was playing a ton.

    Nurse will be a very good defenseman, but the smart play is to make sure he develops properly in the minors before anointing him Pietro v.2

  17. rickithebear says:

    Pouzar:
    Wow thx for the Brad MacPherson link. Very interesting article comparing non-PP performance. Nurse is da sh!t!!!

    It is crazy someone would Advocate the importance of Defensive D play and even point production for D.

    it is crazy to think that 48-50 min of 2.33 EVG/60 play is more important than 10-12min of 6.11 PP/PK time.

    49min X 2.33 = 114.17
    11min X 6.11 = 67.21
    67.21/114.17 = 58.9%

    How did you guys not see this shit in 07-08.

    CLOSER!

    Time Dependent?

  18. Pouzar says:

    Ducey:
    Brad MacPherson did a splendid job looking at Nurse’s comparables and the names include some of the best current defensemen in the Western Conference. We can’t ignore the company Nurse is keeping.

    He also is in the same grouping as Barker, Teubert and Plante (and Wishart and Parent and Sbisa)

    *weeps*

    Just 5 of the 14 are guys I would consider top pairing NHLers.Plus those stats don’t adjust for TOI.We know Nurse was playing a ton.

    Nurse will be a very good defenseman, but the smart play is to make sure he develops properly in the minors before anointing him Pietro v.2

    I think the money quote is this:

    •Nurse finishes top 5 every season. Pietrangelo and Phaneuf are the two other players to accomplish this.

  19. Pouzar says:

    Soup Fascist: Darnell Nurse will ultimately be a more complete and impactful NHL defenseman than Seth Jones.

    FTFY

  20. Cahoon says:

    Great song for my favourite prospect. I can play this song on guitar. This is the best year of RE songs!

  21. Soup Fascist says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    I was just testing to see if anyone was paying attention ….. not really, just a brain fart ….. as I will infer that you correctly deduced, I meant SETH Jones. Which is actually a bold statement (some would say stupid).

    For the record I don’t think CMD will score more points than Jordie’s brother this year …. but DEFINITELY will the year after.

  22. rickithebear says:

    Drafting young Dmen who face other teams best and generate great EVP production against those players is a good trend!

  23. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Soup Fascist,

    I figured. Good for a chuckle on a Monday morning though.

  24. Pouzar says:

    rickithebear:
    Drafting young Dmen who face other teams best and generate great EVP production against those players is a good trend!

    This. Am I supposed to care if Nurse can QB a PP? I love what he does at ES to move the puck.

  25. bendelson says:

    Love the song and though I understand reference (it has, at times, been a long, painful journey) I can’t help feel a little sheepish about lines such as “So for once in my life, let me get what I want. Lord knows, it would be the first time”… I mean, maybe if you’re 35 yrs of age or younger you can get away with such bile but I saw 5 Stanley’s pass through town and that stills counts for something.

    Seriously LT, if we sad-sack Oilers fans are using Morrissey’s dark corners to lament our long wait for a true #1 d-man, what level of melancholly are other teams using to grieve their lot in life?

    Round the clock Nick Drake for those Vancouver Canucks?

    Or maybe… just maybe…

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2mj2cb

  26. Soup Fascist says:

    bendelson: Seriously LT, if we sad-sack Oilers fans are using Morrissey’s dark corners to lament our long wait for a true #1 d-man, what level of melancholly are other teams using to grieve their lot in life?

    For the record, I don’t think Josh Morrissey will be as good as Darnell Nurse, but Winnipeg has a great crop of young blue liners.

  27. leadfarmer says:

    I think since the coach rolls his lines instead of matching, at least in San Jose he did I wonder if
    Sekera Klefbom
    Schultz Fayne
    Gryba Deadweight until callups
    Deadweight

    makes more sense. I think Schultz needs a good stay at home type, and for Klefbom’s development I would rather have him away from Schultz.

  28. Clay says:

    At some point, Johnny Gaudreau will be attemping to retrieve a puck in the corner, and Mr. Nurse will put him through the plexiglass into the first row of seats.

    On his phone after the game, there’ll be a text message from A. Hemsky, and it will simply say “thank you”.

  29. dustrock says:

    I remember reading one scouting report on Nurse prior to the draft where he said “if he reaches his ceiling, which is a big “if”, he could be better than Seth Jones”.

  30. Pouzar says:

    Soup Fascist:
    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    I was just testing to see if anyone was paying attention ….. not really,just a brain fart ….. as I will infer that you correctly deduced, I meant SETH Jones.Which is actually a bold statement (some would say stupid).

    For the record I don’t think CMD will score more points than Jordie’s brother this year …. but DEFINITELY will the year after.

    I was. And I went on record a couple months ago saying Darnell will be better than Seth.

  31. TheOtherJohn says:

    Think Nurse will be a top 4 D man in the NHL for a decade or more. After watching his sister play at Saville Centre, expect he will be the 2nd best player in his family. His sister was one of the best players in this Olympic qualifying tournament and was 19. Expect she will be a legitimate top 20 player in the world in her mid 20’s. Very very good off guard

  32. Sevenseven says:

    I hope GR turns into a top pairing guy as well as Klefbom and Nurse. Imo Calgary has that with Brodie, Gio and Hamilton. Hopefully we get that as well. Looks like Monahan Bennet and others will be coming along the same time as Nurse GR and Mcdavid. May the battle of Alberta be relevant again, with the same results as the glory years! (5 Oiler cups to 1 Calgary) I’ll put the kook aid away now lol.

  33. G Money says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    No question, this is an unsurprising outcome in a VERY athletic family. Dad was a CFL wide receiver, mom played bball in University, as do both his sisters Tamika and Kia. His cousin Sarah plays US college hockey as well.

    Rumour has it that Darnell is 20 lbs up over the last six months, somewhere approaching 220 lbs.

    Wouldn’t surprise me, there was a picture circulating from him in the stands at the recent women’s basketball game, and the kid is looking like a goddamn linebacker.

    If he can carry that weight and not lose his speed, he’s going to be a freakin’ monster.

    Because the one crystal clear image I have of Nurse from that SSM-Erie series is not the physical play or the positioning. It was watching him gather the puck behind the net, turn the corner, and then it was “Holy sh*t!!!!” as he’d just unleash the power and disappear like he had rockets in his skates. Not just NHL speed, but elite NHL speed.

    Not hyperbole to suggest that the only guy faster than him in that series was Connor McSaviour.

    I temper my expectations for both the ceiling and the development path of all young players.

    But MAN it’s crazy tough not to be excited about this kid.

  34. Hammers says:

    Nurse or Reinhart making it before Xmas is still going to be about Ference and Nikitin . The better those two are the longer the kids stay down . Nikitin has a good chance to be here until the trade deadline if he bounces back . We wait .

  35. rickithebear says:

    Pouzar: This. Am I supposed to care if Nurse can QB a PP? I love what he does at ES to move the puck.

    PK subban 9M cap.
    were does he make a diffrence?
    Defence men scoring:
    #1 39 EVP
    #7/201 1.36 EVp/60
    #16/201 2.99 EVGF/60

    #9 21 PPP
    #45/106 3.75 PPP/60
    #44/106 6.24 PPGF/60

  36. rickithebear says:

    It will be interesting to see how more intense Nurse can be playing
    18 EVTOI
    3 PKTOI
    1 PPTOI
    22 min a game
    instead of 30-35 min a night in junior.

  37. Ice Sage says:

    dustrock:
    Feel like we should have gone through The Smiths catalogue more in the dark days of the Empire (Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now, What Difference Does It Make, Still Ill, etc. )

    Other thing I’m wondering is if we see Ference and Nikitin in a feature role in the first 20 games as part of a “hey, they can still play!” trade marketing.

    For the Oiler fanbase of the last decade: ‘How soon is Now?’
    Nurse selected between Monahan and Horvat so he’d better work out.

  38. Wonder Llama says:

    bendelson:

    Round the clock Nick Drake for those Vancouver Canucks?

    No Canuck fan deserves the privilege of listening to the sublime talent that was Nick Drake.

    Darnell Nurse will brighten our Northern Sky.

  39. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Ice Sage,

    Based on development to date, I think the concept of Nurse “not working out” is a huge longshot, in the sense that I’m quite comfortable that he will have a long NHL career.

    The question is whether he becomes first pairing, or even elite level, and how soon/for how long he plays at that level.

    If Nurse tops out as a #4 Dman who plays 600 NHL games, that will represent “not working out” based on his current progression path. That’s still a solid player by most metrics otherwise.

  40. jake70 says:

    Clay: At some point, Johnny Gaudreau will be attemping to retrieve a puck in the corner, and Mr. Nurse will put him through the plexiglass into the first row of seats.On his phone after the game, there’ll be a text message from A. Hemsky, and it will simply say “thank you”.

    As fun as this would be to see, my concern is big D’s height and hitting a shorter plalyer you get into unintentional head contact situations and suspensions. Andy Sutton on Skinner few years back comes to mind.

  41. Melman says:

    Hammers:
    Nurse or Reinhart making it before Xmas is still going to be about Ference and Nikitin . The better those two are the longer the kids stay down . Nikitin has a good chance to be here until the trade deadline if he bounces back . We wait .

    Very good point and it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

    We can expect TCAF to show up in great shape and play to his maximum abilities in order to push the kids down the depth chart. The question is will his play be enough to warrant steady ice-time on the 3rd pairing.

    We have no idea what kind of condition NN will show up in, but if he is healthy (and motivated) his abilities are such that he’s at least 3rd pairing, and can maybe slide up to the 2nd if he meshes with the right partner.

    We don’t know how much the “Detroit over-ripen” model gets followed. Even if Nurse or Reinhart are better than NN or AF, do they start the year in Edm. or does development trump winning, if only for a few months, and they go down to smooth out some of the edges. This balanced against a new coach and GM who will be motivated to start winning games right out of the chute.

  42. Diesel says:

    My favourite Oiler daydream at this time is imagining the day when Nurse explodes Monahan in the neutral zone. A Falmes heavy arrives to even the score and Nurse tunes him up too. Edmonton fans will have found their new golden boy.

    Does anyone remember Game 3 against Anaheim when Laraque fought Fedoruk for the second time that game (after we went up 3-0)? This occurred immediately following the centre ice face-off so the crowd was still roaring. George got the takedown and then gave the “let me hear it” arm pump on the way to the box. He sat there with a huge smile on his face while the building reached and sustained peak dB.

    Very shortly after, the Oilers got a power play and Pronger blasted one home from the point to make it 4-0. Cue madness again.

    I truly believe Nurse will do all of the above on a regular basis.

  43. bendelson says:

    Wonder Llama: No Canuck fan deserves the privilege of listening to the sublime talent that was Nick Drake. Darnell Nurse will brighten our Northern Sky.

    Yeah, Nick Drake is a favourite of mine as well.
    However, time has told me that many consider his music somewhat bleak – to put it mildly.

  44. Pouzar says:

    Mike Santorelli has signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks.

    He will make $875,000 after he earned $1.5 million last year. Santorelli played in 79 games in 2014-15 with Toronto and Nashville and he posted 33 points.

  45. blainer says:

    Nurse is the real deal. Would be surprised if they do send him down. He looked more than ready in the AHL playoffs. It will be interesting to see what they do about Ference as he will hurt the team from day one.

  46. Gordies Elbow says:

    Nurse is an exceptional athlete, and truly has top pairing potential.

    He brings the complete package, and something extra, a giant box o’ crazy. He’s going to take stupid penalties, 180 feet from his own goal, and get out of position trying to blow up a forward breaking the blueline. Fans of the Oilers will lament his poor choices, and fans of other teams will question his hockey sense, and refer to him as a menace.

    Looking forward to it.

  47. pocession charge says:

    Wonder Llama:

    Darnell Nurse will brighten our Northern Sky.

    I thought you lived in Indiana or something!? Although I suppose he could brighten that sky, too.

  48. pocession charge says:

    Ice Sage: Nurse selected between Monahan and Horvat so he’d better work out.

    I like our centers even without those two (and the Oilers had no chance to draft Mononucleosis). I think the only draft comparable for Nurse is Ristolainen.

  49. Pouzar says:

    pocession charge: I like our centers even without those two (and the Oilers had no chance to draft Mononucleosis).I think the only draft comparable for Nurse is Ristolainen.

    There were a lot of people here who wanted Nish IIRC.
    Obviously the book hasn’t been written on that yet but I wanted Nurse as soon as I knew
    Monahan was gone.

  50. Moose says:

    kinger_OIL:

    – LT your 2016-2017 D has 3 D with less than 250 games, and Jultz.Jultz would be fine in a better D group, sheltered, using his strengths,but a playoff team can’t shelter 66% of their D – too much hope and prayer, if this is the D in a year.We can’t wait to let the D “develop and mature” for a few more years.

    I tend to agree here.

    This might sound a bit strange but, one of the first thoughts I had after the acquisition of Reinhart was that adding another young, left-sided blue liner gives them the flexibility to eventually trade one of them if/when that dreamy 1D ever becomes available. Nurse and Klef probably have the higher ceilings, but that’s what it will probably take to get the 1D. If he develops into top 4 guy, Reinhart takes some of the sting out dealing one of them.

  51. Cameron says:

    I love the Smiths, and this song, but it’s a bit rich to have it applied to anything Oilers related.

    Dammit . Bendelson already made the same point.

  52. Melman says:

    Pouzar:
    Mike Santorelli has signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks.

    He will make $875,000 after he earned $1.5 million last year. Santorelli played in 79 games in 2014-15 with Toronto and Nashville and he posted 33 points.

    This would have been some good depth

  53. Pretendergast says:

    Connor Mcdavid is the hero we deserve.

    Darnell Nurse is the hero we need.

  54. RPG says:

    Ryan Kennedy ‏@THNRyanKennedy 4h4 hours ago

    Taylor Hall at #Camp talking about Connor McDavid’s foot speed: “He seems to glide faster than most guys can skate.”

  55. AsiaOil says:

    Got nothing to add to add on Nurse except this – saw him in a pre-draft interview with Jones, Drouin & MacKinnon. The guy absolutely screamed elite athlete and leader and stood way out even within this top-end group. He has “it” what ever the hell “it” is – and it would not surprise me one bit if he ends up being the star of that draft class. I wanted the Oilers to draft him after that and was well pleased that CAL went for Monahan. While I doubt CAL will ever really regret that decision – Nurse is going to torment them for a very very long time.

    Spending 25 games in the AHL will do nothing but help Nurse – it’s finishing school – and they have developed him exactly right up to this point (props where props due to the old bunch). Chia has a massive job to fix the defense and a lot has been done already in getting Sekera and GR. As much as I wanted Ference gone this summer – I can deal with him on the roster as long as he is treated for what he is: a #7/8 dman. Play him if there is no one better down on the farm.

    But Nurse is the jewel on defense and you do what ever is best for him in terms of long-term development.

  56. Stelio Kontos (Formerly Zangetsu-Formerly Thinker) says:

    Where did we get this guy? I have it on good authority that we have no top pairing D prospects and that we need to trade everyone not named McDavid for OEL.

  57. Stelio Kontos (Formerly Zangetsu-Formerly Thinker) says:

    Pretendergast,

    “I’m not wearing hockey pads”
    http://www.collegehumor.com/badman

  58. Zelepukin says:

    RPG:
    Ryan Kennedy ‏@THNRyanKennedy 4h4 hours ago

    Taylor Hall at #Camp talking about Connor McDavid’s foot speed: “He seems to glide faster than most guys can skate.”

    Truth and it appears so oddly amazing. He’s somehow able to keep a very high speed while stick handling and skating upright with his shoulders back. It’s as if he is surveying the play, looking to pass, but still pushing the river, which confuses the hell out of the D.

  59. godot10 says:

    IMHO:

    1) Nurse has to play in the top 4 in the NHL to start the season to avoid finishing school in the AHL. 25 minutes per game in all situations in the AHL is better than 3rd pairing minutes in the NHL.

    2) Ference NMC means he sits in the pressbox for two years.

    3) Reinhart and Gryba are going to be the 3rd pairing from game 1.

    4) The heat is going to be on Schultz from day one, since Nurse is the most obvious guy for his spot in the top 4.

    Sekera, Fayne
    Klefbom, Schultz
    Reinhart, Gryba

    can quickly morph to

    Klefbom, Sekera
    Nurse, Fayne
    Reinhart, Gryba

    Nikitin and Ference, at this point, are just injury insurance.

  60. Spoils says:

    Sekera—Klefbom, Nurse—Schultz, Reinhart—Fayne

    just not good enough this year to make the playoffs, in 3 years to win.

    we need a #1 to shift everyone to more realistic spots

    remember the year we got Leon. there was a small chance ekblad would have slipped like seth jones did. imagine how much more valuable ekblad is than leon.

    we need a #1 to shift everyone down

  61. Blue Bullet says:

    Thanks for promoting my post. I am doing a similar one on Reinhart but for now I have taken a break from writing to do research on IPP.

    I am quite bullish on Nurse. I see him as a future top pairing d-men with my biggest question being whether is he a true #1 or better suited to be a #2. I have big expectations for Nurse.

    For this season I see the glut of defenseman holding him back from a spot out of camp even though he is ahead of Gryba, Reinhart, Ference and Nikitin on my depth chart. Instead, I see him going to the AHL and playing on the top pair until injuries/trades allows him to make the big club. After that, I do not see Nurse playing in the minors ever again. He is our best defensive prospect in ages.

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