Darnell Nurse
Darnell Nurse
24-Year-Old DefensemanD
Edmonton Oilers
2018 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $6.4 million contract with the Oilers in September of 2018.
Records goal
DEdmonton Oilers
February 7, 2019
Nurse scored a goal on three shots in a 4-1 victory against the Wild on Thursday.
The goal gives Nurse a modest three-game point streak, but overall, the 24-year-old has really racked up the points the last two months. Since Dec. 5, Nurse has five goals and 22 points in 27 games. Despite a slow start, the strong two months have helped Nurse already set career highs with seven goals and 28 points in 54 games this season.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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
Dishes out two helpers
DEdmonton Oilers
February 3, 2019
Nurse registered a pair of assists -- including one with the man advantage -- in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Canadiens on Sunday.
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Records two points
DEdmonton Oilers
January 10, 2019
Nurse posted a goal, an assist and a plus-3 rating in a 4-3 shootout victory against the Panthers on Thursday.
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Continues to thrive in cushy role
DEdmonton Oilers
December 14, 2018
Nurse collected two assists in Friday's 4-1 home win over the Flyers.
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Massive role with Klefbom out
DEdmonton Oilers
December 13, 2018
Nurse scored a goal while skating a game-high 31:04 in Thursday's 5-4 overtime loss to Winnipeg.
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Ends scoring drought
DEdmonton Oilers
December 5, 2018
Nurse picked up an assist in Wednesday's 3-2 shootout win over the Blues.
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