It’s going to be very difficult for the Edmonton Oilers to resist Darnell Nurse. He’s mobile, big, strong, has a mean streak and is beyond determined to win an NHL job this fall. Those old crows in management are going to see themselves 35 years ago and have a helluva time sending him back to the Soo. I bet you actual cash money the Greyhounds don’t expect him back at the start of the season.
RE 14-15 PREVIEW
|.222||DARNELL NURSE RE 14-15||9||0||2||2|
- Kyle Woodlief — USA Today: is the most naturally physical defender available. He made good strides in his offensive game and has a heavy shot that is an asset on the power play. He likes to dish out punishment along the walls and easily separates his check from the puck. Nurse also scores off the charts in both his character and intelligence levels, and at a gangly 6-5, already has the footwork of a much smaller man.
- SSM GM Kyle Dubas: “People get obsessed with Darnell’s plus/minus (plus-1, down from plus-15 the year prior), but his underlying numbers are excellent. Relative to the competition he plays [against], he does extremely well. Far greater than 50 percent of the time, the puck is not in our end. To me, it doesn’t get much bigger than that. If we’re taking the other team’s best players and forcing them to play in their end and away from the puck, that’s a successful day. The quality of competition he’s faced is higher than anyone else in our league, especially among defencemen.
- If Nurse makes the team, who is sent down? The Oilers could IR someone like Aulie, or send out someone like Marincin or Klefbom. There’s many ways to do it.
- Is it possible for Nurse to stay all season? Certainly. He’s the future, if it arrives this fall the club will make room for him.
- How do they alter the roster to make room? MacT has to get busy. A trade would be likely, although again injury factors in to these things. There’s also the matter of center, so Nurse on defense might be involved in the 2C equation. Should there may a gaping hole there, a defenseman for center trade could happen at the end of training camp. Either way, Nurse is the hammer—the Oilers love him.
- Will he play on the power play and penalty kill? I doubt it. Oilers have invested heavily in Nikitin, he’ll get the push with Petry. Nurse could play secondary on PP, and penalty kill time would be minimal unless he thrives. Ference-Fayne will be used heavily 4×5.
- If Nurse plays his first NHL games fall 2015, where will he be on the depth chart? Suspect Edmonton will throw him into a feature role, maybe with Fayne as mentor. Eventually, I believe Nurse and Schultz as a top pairing will see the light of day. Suspect that’s the vision at the offices on Kingsway.