Darnell Nurse
Darnell Nurse
26-Year-Old DefensemanD
Edmonton Oilers
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Nurse turned in another strong campaign with five goals and 33 points in 71 appearances last year. The 25-year-old blueliner also contributed 170 shots on goal, 172 hits and 141 blocked shots, providing excellent non-scoring numbers. There's really only one knock on Nurse's game from a fantasy perspective, and that comes in the form of his lack of man-advantage opportunities, but his relative lack of power-play time hasn't held him back from generating points. He's a virtual lock to play at a 40-point pace while adding significant numbers in hits and blocked shots in 2020-21. That gives Nurse some universal appeal to fantasy managers as a solid middle-to-late round option on defense. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $11.2 million contract with the Oilers in February of 2020.
Over an hour ice time in loss
DEdmonton Oilers
May 24, 2021
Nurse had 62:07 of total ice time and six blocks in Monday's 4-3 triple-overtime loss to Winnipeg in Game 4.
ANALYSIS
The 26-year-old workhorse played an hour-plus of hockey in this contest and had a shift in the first overtime that lasted over 4:40. Nurse led all skaters in ice time in the contest with the Oilers' season on the line just a night after playing 31:18 in Game 3. Although Nurse and the Oilers finished second in the North Division, they've failed to advance to the second round for the fourth consecutive year.
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2020 NHL Game Log
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2020–21 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    25:38
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    1:23
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    2:24
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2018–19
23:49
1:51
1:55
2019–20
23:27
1:04
2:02
2020–21
25:38
1:23
2:24
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Darnell Nurse
Playoff Primer: North Division Preview
28 days ago
In the fourth of RotoWire's playoff primers, Kyle Riley breaks down the North division's matchups and makes his picks for the first two series.
NHL: Playoff Pool Cheat Sheet
32 days ago
Positional rankings for 2020-21 playoff pools.
NHL Season Recap: Fantasy Surprises
37 days ago
Evan Berofsky analyzes whether the surprises of this season, like Dallas' Jason Robertson, can keep it going next season.
DraftKings NHL: Thursday Breakdown
37 days ago
Sasha Yodashkin kicks off his Thursday DraftKings recommendations with Penguins netminder Tristan Jarry against the Sabres.
FanDuel NHL: Thursday Targets
37 days ago
Jason Chen previews Thursday's slate, rolling with Oilers blueliner Darnell Nurse against the Canucks.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2015
2014
2013
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.
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
Contributes helper in loss
DEdmonton Oilers
May 19, 2021
Nurse posted an assist and four hits in Wednesday's 4-1 loss to the Jets in Game 1.
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Dishes pair of helpers
DEdmonton Oilers
May 8, 2021
Nurse recorded two assists, one on the power play, and two blocked shots in Saturday's 4-3 win over the Canucks.
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Records assist in loss
DEdmonton Oilers
May 6, 2021
Nurse posted an assist, five shots on goal, four hits and nine PIM in Thursday's 6-3 loss to the Canucks.
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One of each Tuesday
DEdmonton Oilers
May 4, 2021
Nurse scored a goal on four shots, dished a power-play assist and blocked two shots in Tuesday's 4-1 win over the Canucks.
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Fills empty net
DEdmonton Oilers
May 1, 2021
Nurse scored an empty-net goal on two shots, added three hits and went plus-2 in Saturday's 4-1 win over the Flames.
ANALYSIS
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