Edmonton Oiler first-round pick Darnell Nurse is in tough tonight.
- Keefe said he plans to have his top defensive pair of Gudbranson and Darnell Nurse go head-to-head with whichever line McDavid is centering.
When we looked at Nurse back in November, his point total was over 1/1:
- Nov 11 evens: 18, 2-6-8 .444
- Nov 11 pp: 18, 4-7-11 .611
- Nov 11 pk: 18, 0-1-1
Since then, Nurse’s totals have gone down offensively:
- Nov 12+ evens: 39, 4-8-12 .308
- Nov 21+ pp: 39, 1-11-12 .308
- Nov 21+ pk: 39, 1-0-1
Overall, he’s 57, 12-33-45 and it’s obvious from the above quote that Nurse is a top pairing shutdown player for the Greyhounds. Pronman had him #8 on his top 50 NHL prospects, saying “he wasn’t chosen to be on Canada’s team for the WJC, but I don’t think that is indicative of where Nurse is as an NHL prospect — he brings a ton to the table. He’s big, mean, a great skater and is pretty effective in both ends of the rink. His decisions aren’t always perfect and his shot could be a little better, but he’s a top-end prospect.”
I think he’s on track, the offense is off somewhat but it’s still a strong season for him at 18. The numbers don’t concern me, players dip and dive. What would concern me? Having Connor McDavid in town and Nurse’s coach saying the Oiler pick wasn’t on the top pairing. Nurse’s PP time may have been reduced during the season, explaining the main cause for offensive downturn. OHL TOI is not available to us, so there’s no real way to know.
The Oilers have all kinds of worries. Darnell Nurse isn’t one of them.