In all the mock draft's i look at he is a 2nd rounder or a really late 1st round pick. He was on Team Canada for the U-18 and I didnt think he looked too bad. Why is he rated this low? Any potential rise ?
Well, perhaps the simple answer is the NHL is not made up of U18's, which is pretty much the reason why I bring up dominating Canadian Junior does not guarantee you an NHL job.
I saw nurse quite a bit as a AAA player. and he was something. He has all the tools. But his first year in the O was hardly the success he was hoping for. He was looking much like a tweener, not physical enough to be a great D man, but did not have the O required to be a QB quarter back. He was drafted into the O high based on size, skating and offense, but if he is not using his size and not generating offense, he will be lost in the shuffle.
I know he has the size, skills and mindset to be an NHL player, but he has to work much harder on moving that potential to skill.
I got to see him play a lot this year and it really appeared as the season went on he got more comfortable and started being more aggressive and assertive in front of the net. As his confidence grew he started jumping into and even leading the rush up ice. I don't think he'll ever be a huge point producer but he hit at least 5 or 6 posts/crossbars over the course of the season so the potential is there.
I think as he grows and matures he'll be a very good player in the O.
So raw when I watched him in midget, you could see the physical skills certainly but im not sure if it was hockey sense or the coach telling him to always be on the offence he did seem to be caught out of position alot and relied on his skating to save his positional mistakes. Same with much of the year last year. Has he improved in this aspect of picking his spots better?
We've got Nurse 24th right now, so he's knocking on the door of the top-20.
We tracked him down for a quick Q&A:
“Having family members around that have played professional sports has given me a great deal of support that many other athletes don’t have,” Nurse said. “Being able to reach out to my father and uncle who have been through a lot of the stuff that I am going through has allowed me to make tough decisions that otherwise I would have not known how to handle.”
Attended the Kitchener-Soo game last night. Very impressed by Nurse. Played a ton. Great skater, had some very good outlet passes and rushes up the ice. On one rush in the first period he took off through the neutral zone, gained the blueline and dished it to a teammate all alone but was robbed by Gibson. I thought his defensive awareness was pretty sound. Love the physical tools. He could stand to be a bit more physical and use his size. I wouldn't call him soft though. I have not seen everyone this year but I'd be surprised if he doesn't go top 15. Tons of potential.
I've been quite fascinated with this guy (despite never seeing him play) because of his size. Came across the write-up on a blog and now my interest is really piqued. I'm curious if he's one of these draft year risers (Like Scheifele, Huberdeau, Ryan Johansen) and we might see him crack the Top 10 largely because it's a not as strong a year for defencemen as the past few.
10. Darnell Nurse - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Truthfully, it seems like it's mostly a confidence boost. I'm seeing a totally different player out on the ice this year. And that's to be expected, considering Nurse is a talented sophomore. If he wasn't receiving consideration for this list, some red flags would likely need to be thrown. Offensively, he's so much more involved. He not only leads the rush and quarterback's the powerplay, but he's also aggressive in jumping up in the attack looking for scoring opportunities. Defensively, he's still a bit raw, but his confidence in using his size has skyrocketed. He's become a physical force and is tossing aside players with conviction. I'm sure added strength this offseason also plays a part in these improvements too. The key will be maintaining this level of play once he's bumped down the depth chart following the return of Ryan Sproul.