With the 7th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Fansided Mock Draft, the Edmonton Oilers select defenseman Darnell Nurse from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
In the mock draft the Carolina Hurricanes took Sean Monahan with the number six pick, a forward from the Ottawa 67’s which left Nurse available when the Oilers turn came around.
Nurse is rated as the number four prospect on Central Scouting’s final ranking of North American skaters. Sitting in the number nine position at the midterm, Nurse jumped into the top five to number four with his solid second half play for the Greyhounds.
Listed at 6-3.5, 185-pounds, Nurse is what the Oilers are short on – defenseman. I’m not saying he’s going to be in the starting lineup in the next few years, but a team can never have too many highly skilled blue liners.
A report on NHL.com has Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards raving about his play.
“I like everything about him … he defends himself, is steady and doesn’t make many mistakes. I’m not saying he plays like Chris Pronger, but he could be that Pronger-type of guy with how good he is with the puck and his toughness.”
Oiler fans can remember the impact that Chris Pronger had on this organization, both good and bad, but if Darnell Nurse can develop into someone even moderately close to his talent then having him fall to the number seven spot could be a steal.
Last season with the Hounds, Nurse scored 12 goals and added 29 assists for 41 points in 68 games. He also put up 116 penalty minutes, proving he’s as tough as they make him out to be. One of the more promising statistics is that he improved his plus/minus rating from his rookie year where he was a minus-15 to a positive plus-15 this past year.
Nurse would be a nice addition to the Oilers stock of prospects and it could very well happen when you consider the high-end talent that the Europeans and Russians have sitting as their top prospects. Whether or not the Oilers will choose to keep their first round pick or trade it away remains to be seen. But if we end up seeing Craig MacTavish and company walk up on stage, let’s hope they call the name Darnell Nurse. There’s a reason why he is the second highest rated defenseman on the North America list, behind only Seth Jones.