Skip to content

Get to know a draft pick — Darnell Nurse

Jun 28, 2013, 11:08 PM EDT

darnellnursegetty Getty Images

Leading up to the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in New Jersey, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Sunday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.

Darnell Nurse (D)

Height: 6’4 Weight: 185 Shoots: Left

Team: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

Country: Canada

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 4 among North American skaters

What kind of player is he?

Much like Seth Jones, Darnell Nurse grew up in a family full of high-end athletes. His parents played at high levels, yet you might know his uncle the best: former Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb.

He shares other similarities with Jones, as he also draws plenty of Chris Pronger comparisons. That makes sense as most regard him as an outstanding stay-at-home defenseman. (Some evoke the names Shea Weber and Dion Phaneuf instead, so the theme is size, physicality and a healthy helping of nastiness.)

He’s shown a decent amount of offensive skill, scoring 12 goals and 41 points in 68 games during his second season at the junior level.

Still, the main draw will likely come from a team looking for a bruising blueliner with prototypical size and the kind of bloodlines that imply something special.

Quotable:

Greyhounds head coach Sheldon Keefe told Hockey’s Future that Nurse is part of a “new wave” of defensemen.

“When you talk about those top-level NHL defensemen, he has the potential to do that,” Keefe said. “But when you look at all the different tools that he brings to the table, he really is the next wave of defensemen coming into the NHL — these natural athletes, these top guys. You saw how he performed at the Top Prospects Game, how well he did … you usually don’t see those results from big guys. I think he’s got a lot of tools that are going to bring some very interesting options for the team that’s lucky enough to draft him.”

For more 2013 NHL Draft previews, click here.

Latest Posts
  1. Blues appear set in the short-term, but difficult decisions loom

    Jul 7, 2015, 4:07 PM EDT

    Jaden Schwartz Getty Images

    Backes and Schwartz have one season left on their contracts.

  2. Avs add Farrish to coaching staff

    Jul 7, 2015, 2:38 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Ottawa Senators Getty Images

    Was most recently an assistant under Randy Carlyle in Toronto.

  3. Canes sign Zach Boychuk to one-year, two-way deal

    Jul 7, 2015, 1:08 PM EDT

    Zach Boychuk Getty Images

    “He’s a reliable depth forward who we know is capable of contributing offensively at either level.”

  4. Blackhawks extend TVR through 2017-18

    Jul 7, 2015, 11:59 AM EDT

    2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six Getty Images

    Stepped in to play the final four games of the Stanley Cup Final.

  5. Blue Jackets sign Columbus-born Kole Sherwood

    Jul 7, 2015, 10:05 AM EDT

    2015 NHL Draft - Round One Getty Images

    Jarmo Kekalainen brings a local boy into the organization.

  6. Good start: McDavid scores five in Oilers scrimmage

    Jul 7, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Connor McDavid AP

    “He’s obviously a great talent.”

  7. PHT Morning Skate: Tyler Seguin is naked

    Jul 7, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    TylerSeguin

    In ESPN’s The Body Issue, of course.

  8. Report: Wild’s Backstrom suffered serious nerve damage in elbow

    Jul 6, 2015, 11:22 PM EDT

    Niklas Backstrom AP

    “It happened pretty fast. All of a sudden two fingers are not working.”

  9. Oilers taking Schultz to arbitration

    Jul 6, 2015, 9:59 PM EDT

    Justin Schultz Getty Images

    25-year-old defenseman struggled mightily last season.

  10. Coyotes sign No. 3 overall pick Strome to entry-level deal

    Jul 6, 2015, 8:48 PM EDT

    Dylan Strome Dylan Strome

    Connor McDavid’s running mate in Erie was the OHL’s leading scorer last season.

  11. Expansion process underway as NHL sends out applications

    Jul 6, 2015, 7:25 PM EDT

    OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 26:  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the media prior to Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Canadian Tire Centre on April 26, 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens eliminated the Ottawa Senators by defeating them 2-0 and move to the next round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Quebec City and Las Vegas have already expressed interest.

  12. Caps ink Kuznetsov to two-year, $6 million extension

    Jul 6, 2015, 6:08 PM EDT

    Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    Russian forward is coming off a solid rookie campaign.

  13. Bishop Effect: 6-foot-9 goalie ‘trying to make a name for myself’ at Vancouver’s prospect camp

    Jul 6, 2015, 4:29 PM EDT

    JohnMcLean

    That’s him in the blue shirt, standing next to ex-NHL goalie Dan Cloutier… who is 6’1.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Voynov (2873)
  2. R. O'Reilly (2786)
  3. B. Saad (2769)
  4. B. Richards (2460)
  5. Z. Kassian (2429)
  1. M. St. Louis (2321)
  2. M. Green (2320)
  3. P. Kessel (2304)
  4. C. McDavid (2101)
  5. J. Allen (1983)