20 Prospects in 20 Days: Darnell Nurse


Source: Metroland News Service

With only 4 days left until the first round of the NHL Draft in New Jersey, The PensNation will be breaking down a prospect each day until June 30th. Today, we will take a closer look at defenseman Darnell Nurse.


Source: NHL.com

Defenseman Darnell Nurse, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL), 18 years old

Height: 6’4″, Weight:  185 pounds, Shoots: Left


NHL Central Scouting: 4th among North American skaters
TSN: 8th among all players

2012-13 Stats: 68 games played, 12 goals, 29 assists, 41 points, +15, 116 penalty minutes


Source: Terry Wilson / OHL Images


THE SCOOP: Defenseman Darnell Nurse has plenty of influential family members to be the best athlete he can be. He is the nephew of former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb and both of his parents were both great athletes. His sisters are also having success in basketball in their respected age groups. It only makes sense for Nurse to be a great athlete too. However, it takes much more than just talent to make it to the next level in the world of sports. Nurse knows that and has worked extremely hard to be where he is at this stage of his young career. He was named an alternate captain with Sault Ste. Marie of the OHL at the age of 17. Before this season, many draft experts had Nurse as a late first round pick because of his average offensive game. Nurse took that as a challenge and really improved his offensive game by scoring 12 goals and recording 41 points in 68 games. He sported an extremely powerful shot from the point and lethal one timer to create scoring opportunities for the Greyhounds this season. That helped his offensive numbers tremendously to go with his excellent play in the defensive zone. Nurse has been labeled as a shutdown defenseman with a big frame who will use his size to deliver big hits on opponents. He is a player who will win battles on the boards and clear the front of the net. In addition, Nurse is not afraid to block shots and passing lanes. For a man with his size, you can consider his skating ability elite. He is quick and can change directions very fast. Nurse is one of the best athletes in the 2013 NHL Draft class and is a player who will strike fear into opponents. Mike Stapleton, the coach of the Greyhounds, had good things to say about Nurse’s character: “He comes to the rink every day ready. He’s like a sponge. He wants to learn and work on stuff. He understands what it’s going to take to get himself to the next level… He has the potential to be an offensive defenseman but he’s also got great potential to be a stay-at-home, shutdown defenseman who plays with size and grit.” Nurse is too good to pass up and will definitely be taken within the first ten selections of the draft. Therefore, teams to watch for Nurse are the Carolina Hurricanes, Calgary Flames, and Edmonton Oilers. Nurse is a special athlete who is willing to whatever it takes to succeed. Every NHL team wants a guy like Nurse and whoever drafts him will get a player who should develop into a first pairing shutdown defenseman who can play in any situation.


Previously Seen in “20 Prospects in 20 Days”:

June 10, 2013: Bo Horvat
June 11, 2013: Aleksander Barkov
June 12, 2013: Zachary Fucale
June 13, 2013: Nikita Zadorov
June 14, 2013: Max Domi
June 15, 2013: Anthony Mantha
June 16, 2013: Hunter Shinkaruk
June 17, 2013: Elias Lindholm
June 18, 2013: Valeri Nichushkin
June 19, 2013: Sean Monahan
June 20, 2013: Alexander Wennberg
June 21, 2013: Rasmus Ristolainen
June 22, 2013: Frederik Gauthier
June 23, 2013: Ryan Pulock
June 24, 2013: Valentin Zykov
June 25, 2013: Ryan Hartman

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