Darnell Nurse
Darnell Nurse
24-Year-Old DefensemanD
Edmonton Oilers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Nurse amassed 41 points over 82 games during his 2018-19 campaign, proving without a doubt that he has what it takes to be the workhorse defenseman the Oilers tabbed him as when they drafted him seventh overall back in 2013. Despite finishing last season with a minus-5 rating, the 24-year-old was Edmonton's most impactful and trustworthy blueliner, and the team should expect more of the same heading into the 2019-20 season. Primarily known for his defensive acumen, Nurse possesses enough offensive ability and upside for fantasy owners to be comfortable dedicating a late-round selection to him. Nurse's age makes him extra attractive in keeper leagues. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $6.4 million contract with the Oilers in September of 2018.
Earns helper in loss
DEdmonton Oilers
November 16, 2019
Nurse registered an assist and two blocked shots in Saturday's 5-4 overtime loss to the Stars.
Nurse provided the secondary assist on Leon Draisaitl's first-period tally. The helper snapped an unusual 10-game pointless run for the defender. Nurse has nine points, 48 hits, 40 shots on goal, 40 blocks and 20 PIM this season -- he's capable of making a fantasy impact even if he doesn't get on the scoresheet.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Darnell Nurse
NHL Barometer: Risers & Fallers
6 days ago
Jan Levine analyzes this week's risers and fallers in hockey as No. 1 pick Jack Hughes is playing up to his lofty draft status for the Devils.
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12 days ago
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20 days ago
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25 days ago
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27 days ago
Jan Levine analyzes the risers and fallers this week in hockey as Jack Eichel has the Sabres off to a hot start.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Nurse played his best season as a pro with the Oilers in 2017-18. The 23-year-old blueliner finished with 26 points (six goals and 20 assists) in 82 games after merely producing 11 points in the previous season. Nurse also finished with a positive plus-minus rating (15) for the first time in his four-year career and delivered more hits and blocked shots than he did in 2016-17, finishing with 161 and 153 of those, respectively. Even though he failed to secure a long-term deal with the club this offseason, the burgeoning skater could be a sneaky late-round pick come draft day.
Nurse’s 2016-17 campaign was derailed by an ankle injury that limited him to 44 games, though he still managed to show some improvement over the prior season, lifting his rating from minus-13 to even while improving his point total by one (to 11) despite playing in 25 fewer games. He was able to do that despite playing a much smaller role when healthy, as Nurse averaged only 17:01 of ice time. Long considered one of Edmonton’s top blue-line prospects, the 2013 draft’s No. 7 overall selected has had a stop-and-go start to his career, with injuries and limited playing time seeming to hinder his development. However, he’s still just 22 years old and a likely candidate for a top-four role this season, thanks in part to Andrej Sekera’s torn ACL, making Nurse an attractive late-round gamble in fantasy drafts.
Nurse is an absolute beast. He was flat-out dominant as the captain of OHL Sault Ste. Marie, and he was part of the top pairing on the powerful Canadian squad that won the 2015 World Junior Championship. He brings it all -- powerful skating that pushes the play, a good shot, and a nasty streak that puts opponents into the boards and onto their butts. And he had an outstanding development camp over the summer. But he’s only 20 and this is his first year as a pro. We’d love to say Nurse could Aaron Ekblad his way to a dominant role in the Oil Patch, but that team is still a work in progress. Nurse has the talent to spend the season in Edmonton, but he'll have to stand out in training camp in order to avoid a deployment to AHL Bakersfield. Be wary of snake eyes on draft day -- sometimes the dice doesn’t roll in your favor.
Nurse was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, and some could argue he is ready to play in the NHL now. However, the Oilers have beefed up their D in the offseason with the additions of Nikita Nikitin and Mark Fayne, so Nurse will likely spend another year developing in the OHL in 2014-15. It’s hard to fault the Oilers for the decision, as the NHL is littered with promising, young blueliners who were rushed to the big stage right away, thus neutering their potential. The Oil won't take that chance with the future anchor of their back end. Nurse will be a good one once he arrives, so stash him in your keeper and dynasty leagues if you can.
The seventh pick in this year's draft has the makings of a top pairing defender. He is a physical presence who will hit with impunity and he can also carry the puck. He has been compared to everyone from Shea Weber to Chris Pronger, and has impressive bloodlines as his uncle is NFL QB Donovan McNabb and his dad played in the Canadian Football League. He is only 18, however, and needs to grow his game. His future in Edmonton may be two years away.
More Fantasy News
No points in last six
DEdmonton Oilers
November 6, 2019
Nurse hasn't recorded a point in his last six games.
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Dents twine Thursday
DEdmonton Oilers
October 24, 2019
Nurse scored the opening goal on a team-high six shots in Thursday's 4-3 overtime win over the Capitals.
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Dishes pair of assists
DEdmonton Oilers
October 18, 2019
Nurse registered two assists, five shots on goal and two blocked shots in Friday's 2-1 win over the Red Wings.
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Another helper Saturday
DEdmonton Oilers
October 12, 2019
Nurse registered an assist, four blocked shots, two hits and a plus-2 rating in Saturday's 4-1 win over the Rangers.
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Point streak at four games
DEdmonton Oilers
October 11, 2019
Nurse picked up an assist and a team-high five hits in Thursday's 4-3 shootout win over the Devils.
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