3 Players the Edmonton Oilers should have drafted instead of Darnell Nurse

The struggles of defenseman Darnell Nurse in this year's postseason begs the question on whether the Edmonton Oilers made the right call on draft day. Find out which players the Oilers should have taken instead of Nurse.
Dallas Stars v Edmonton Oilers - Game Three
Dallas Stars v Edmonton Oilers - Game Three / Leila Devlin/GettyImages
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Non-sexy Defenseman Pick

In the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers were steadfast in their determination to address their defensive deficiencies. With the seventh overall pick, they pinned their hopes on Darnell Nurse, believing him to be the solution to their blue line woes. However, in the years since, Nurse's inconsistent performance has prompted scrutiny, leaving some to ponder whether the Oilers missed an opportunity by overlooking other defensive prospects, such as Shea Theodore.

Shea Theodore, now a cornerstone of the Vegas Golden Knights' defensive unit, has emerged as a top-tier defenseman in the NHL. Drafted by the Anaheim Ducks, Theodore's development trajectory has been nothing short of impressive, as he's blossomed into a reliable presence on the blue line, capable of logging significant minutes in all situations.

At the time of the draft, selecting Theodore over Nurse may have been met with skepticism from Edmonton's fan base. The allure of Nurse's physicality and potential as a shutdown defenseman likely overshadowed Theodore's quieter emergence as a defensive stalwart. However, with the benefit of hindsight, it's evident that Theodore's skill set and hockey IQ have positioned him as a valuable asset for any team fortunate enough to have him in their lineup.

For Oilers fans, witnessing Theodore's ascent to prominence from afar may evoke a sense of longing for what could have been. The prospect of Theodore patrolling the blue line alongside Edmonton's other defensive talents is undoubtedly an enticing proposition in hindsight. However, dwelling on past decisions serves little purpose in the present.

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As the Oilers continue their pursuit of defensive stability and success on the ice, they must focus on the path ahead rather than lamenting missed opportunities of the past. While Shea Theodore's success may serve as a reminder of what could have been, it also underscores the importance of thorough scouting and evaluation in the draft process. In the ever-evolving landscape of professional hockey, adaptability and foresight are paramount, guiding teams toward the decisions that will shape their future fortunes.

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