Darnell Nurse 2013 First Rounders: Where are they now?


“He has the ability to squash the transition game because of how well he moves

We’re back with another round of our 2013 first round review, looking over the previous year for the players selected in the 2013 NHL Draft. Today, we’re taking a look at Darnell Nurse, a left shooting defenseman out of Hamilton, Ontario.

When and Where was he drafted?

In 2011, Darnell was selected third overall by the the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL in the OHL Priority Selection. After two seasons with the Greyhounds, Nurse was listed as one of the highest ranked prospects coming into the 2013 NHL Draft. Darnell, the nephew of Donovan McNabb… yes, the quarterback, was selected 7th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2013 Draft.

How his season went

Darnell played the majority of the season with his junior team, the Greyhounds, in order to further develop his game. He had the most successful season of his career last season, scoring 13 goals while tallying 37 assists for a total of  50 points. He also tallied 91 penalty minutes, 25 fewer than the previous season.

He also appeared in four games with the Oilers AHL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons, in which he one assist and zero penalty minutes in four games.

Video Highlight

Nurse showed off his shooting ability, scoring two goals against Belleville

Thoughts on Last Season

Last season clearly helped Nurse to develop, which poses a huge question mark for the coming season. Some people, such as Brock Oten, who writes for the OHL Prospects website, believe that Nurse is ready to take on the NHL, and that sending him to juniors for another year would be foolish.

"“He established himself as a dominant two-way defender,” Otten said. “He has the ability to squash the transition game because of how well he moves … It was very difficult for the opposition to win battles against him. “He’s ready for the NHL. … I don’t think there’s much more that the OHL can teach him. If he returns, I think it will be a mistake and the Oilers will risk him developing some bad habits out of boredom.”"

However, others such as Mark Seidel the chief scout of North American Central Scouting, believe that Nurse would benefit more from another year in the OHL.

"“He has a tremendous physical skill set that only lacks strength at this point in time,” Seidel said. “He still needs to become more seasoned, and the opportunity to return to a great situation in Sault Ste. Marie would be perfect for that. He will have the benefit of learning from a great coaching staff, playing on a team that should be favoured to go to the Memorial Cup.”"

It’s the Oilers decision to make, so we’ll just have to see what they think.