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Donovan McNabb’s nephew says it’d be ‘special’ playing for Flyers

May 20, 2013, 12:12 PM EDT

Darnell Nurse

Darnell Nurse knows about the history his uncle, former Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, has with the city of Philadelphia.

In fact, it’s what makes Philadelphia special to him.

“[It's] a great hockey and sports market,” Nurse told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “They have real passionate fans, and to play anyplace like that would be special.”

Nurse, 18, is coming off a stellar campaign with OHL Sault Ste Marie, racking up 41 points for the Greyhounds in 68 games.

At 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, he’s a physically imposing blueliner — and the No. 2 rated North American defenseman in the final NHL Central Scouting rankings.

What’s more, he models his game after two rearguards with ties to Philadelphia: Shea Weber and Chris Pronger.

“Anytime you get a guy his size, who skates as well as [Nurse] does and plays a physical game, it’s fun to watch,” NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards said, making the Nurse-Pronger comparison. “In the one game at Guelph, I saw him fight twice and he did very well in both. The fights happened while both players were going for the puck and they just got into it. He handles himself very well.

“I like everything about this guy, and defensemen like him are hard to find.”

The Flyers draft 11th overall at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, which will go on Sunday, June 30 from the Prudential Center in New Jersey.

It’s unclear if Nurse will last until the No. 11 pick — one NHL.com mock draft has him going as high as No. 6 to Calgary — but it’s clear Nurse has an affinity for Philly, thanks in large part to the 11 seasons McNabb spent with the Eagles.

“When he played, I used to go to Philadelphia for two or three games a year until I got busy with hockey,” Nurse said. “I got to see all the work he put in.

“Our relationship is really tight. We talk all the time, and he’s been a special person in my life. I go to him for advice whenever I need it.”

  1. DonkeyStick - May 20, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Hopefully he has thicker skin than Donovan.

    • scyther808 - May 20, 2013 at 3:08 PM

      Let’s also hope that he has half the talent that Donovan has. Because then we have someone very special. Donovan was the greatest QB Philly ever had, eh?

  2. hockeywithdrawal - May 20, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    He won’t fall that far down, and it’d be silly to trade up for him – there are some other damn good (and big) D-men available at Philly’s spot.

  3. esracerx46 - May 20, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    I think you had Nurse confused with Seth Jones. Both are big defenseman, Nurse is all the way down at 4 though

  4. phillyphanatic77 - May 20, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    The Flyers will have to trade up to get him. No way he’s there at 11, big dmen that can skate are at a premium right now. I’d love to see it happen though.

  5. pitpenguinsrulez - May 20, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Maybe he could pull what his uncle did in Superbowl 39 which was quit playing with 2 minutes left as your driving down the field with a chance to score…oh wait that’s in football and the flyers won’t even be in position to win the cup finals for a while

    • coopjr - May 20, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      That joke was a long way to travel for such a weak pay off.

  6. tgerhardt - May 20, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    This kid could be great in the NHL. He has the size and the blue line skill it takes to be in the NHL but he lacks on weight. The Chris Pongers and Shea Webbers aren’t lanky guys their big and they throw their weight around. The flyers need a defenseman that can come in and contribute right away. This kid will make an impact in the NHL I just don’t think it will be next season.

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