Edmonton Oilers draft Darnell Nurse seventh overall

Jonathan Willis
June 30 2013 01:46PM

The Edmonton Oilers have chosen to hold on to their seventh overall draft pick, and have selected Darnell Nurse.

Here's Red Line Report on Nurse:

Has huge upside. Big and strong with great upper body strength despite still being a beanpole. Wait until he adds a few pounds to that hulking 6'5" frame. He's just miserable to play against now: throws opponents around with authority and plays a mean, nasty game. Throws big hits both along the boards and in open ice. Has a very long stride and reach with good lateral movement. Plays a positionally steady game in own end. Strong penalty killer who uses his body/stick to eliminate shooting and passing lanes. Cleans men out in front of net. Clears rebounds and ties up his check preventing second chances. Can be a dominant force and top pairing shutdown defender. Offensive game emerged in 2nd half. Started moving up into the rush decisively, showing good timing and instincts. Makes a good first pass and skates with his head up, looking to make plays. Also shows recovery speed.

Red Line had him eighth overall on their list, but projects him as a top-pairing defenceman at the NHL level.

Jason Gregor had a great interview with Nurse earlier this month.

Also of interest: Darnell Nurse faced among the toughest competition of any defenceman in major junior in this year's draft.

Analysis

This is something of a surprise, as the expectation was that Edmonton would select Valeri Nichushkin, the 6'4" winger who was projected by some as a top-five pick. Instead, they choose a player who is a good fit for long-term need - a big, strong shutdown defenceman with puck-moving ability. While Nurse is a strong fit for need, it would be a major shock if he played in Edmonton this season; like most defencemen picked at this stage of the draft additional seasoning in junior is almost certainly the prudent course of action. 

This is a big add for the Oilers organization. It's just going to take a few years to pay off.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#101 shifty203
June 30 2013, 05:25PM
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Smokey wrote:

What happened at 37th. Well thats the big shock and awe, unless the Oilers can turn these magic bullets into a player.

Something tells me the second and prospect for a body, or MacT is doing the Tambo.

He's not pulling a Tambo, he's pulling a MacT. Trading down all our picks to fill the team with pluggers who wouldn't crack any other teams line-up. ;)

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#102 Tom
June 30 2013, 05:27PM
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rob wrote:

Nurse dont help us make playoffs soon,you keep paying for tickets and such while we wait till 2025 to make playoffs!

What is it that you buffoons don't get about this. Darnel Nurse is not supposed to get us in the playoffs soon, that is not why he was picked. Nobody outside of the top 2 or 3 have the power to take a team to the playoffs by themselves. When Nurse turns into the next Pronger you will all look like idiots. Only, talking to the nay sayers of course. Now MacT will go out next week and add some quality 3rd and 4th liners. That will help us a lot.

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#103 BArmstrong
June 30 2013, 05:28PM
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@Walter Sobchak

My point is the majority of these kids can play. The difference between advancing a little, a lot, or not at all can be heavily influenced by surroundings (coaching, organization, training, etc.) and desire.

If all other things are (close to) equal. I'll take the character.

PS. Thanks for going slow:)

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#104 Dale
June 30 2013, 05:28PM
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@Mikey

From TheAHL.com:

What is the minimum age for an AHL player? Per AHL By-Laws, the age limit for eligibility to compete in the American Hockey League is 18 years or over, on or before September 15 of each season of competition.

According to Wikipedia, Nurse was born February 4, 1995 and is 18 years old.

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#105 Bonvie
June 30 2013, 05:32PM
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Thinker wrote:

Could someone on the nurse bandwagon please give me a good defense of the pick. Saying he is the next pronger is baseless. Every single player is overrated at the draft, if every player hit their comparisons, the nhl would be a hell of a league. I want to have a legitimate conversation. Where does nurse fit in the rebuild?

Exactly and which players hit their potential its the players like Nurse with loads of character and work ethic. This is why the interviews or so important he has a Dad and an uncle that have shown him first hand what it takes to reach the next level,

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#106 Smokey
June 30 2013, 05:33PM
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Dale wrote:

From TheAHL.com:

What is the minimum age for an AHL player? Per AHL By-Laws, the age limit for eligibility to compete in the American Hockey League is 18 years or over, on or before September 15 of each season of competition.

According to Wikipedia, Nurse was born February 4, 1995 and is 18 years old.

Theres.a rule where MJ players have to be 18. Protects CHL from loosing players. Euros can cone over and play at 18 if their not signed to CHL.

Yak could not play in AHL cause his rights were held by Sarnia.

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#107 fig pucker
June 30 2013, 05:33PM
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Thinker wrote:

Could someone on the nurse bandwagon please give me a good defense of the pick. Saying he is the next pronger is baseless. Every single player is overrated at the draft, if every player hit their comparisons, the nhl would be a hell of a league. I want to have a legitimate conversation. Where does nurse fit in the rebuild?

he doesn't by the time he's good enough, if he's good enough the ship with our 4 star forwards will have sailed.

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#108 madjam
June 30 2013, 05:40PM
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Smokey wrote:

What happened at 37th. Well thats the big shock and awe, unless the Oilers can turn these magic bullets into a player.

Something tells me the second and prospect for a body, or MacT is doing the Tambo.

Worse than Tambo ,and it'll be interesting to watch those we passed on over the years to lose that 37th pick as compared to the ones we end up getting . At this rate what could we expect from MacT. in trades ? Not looking good .

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#109 DigDeepNBleedBlue
June 30 2013, 05:44PM
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Good pick! Tough D-man.

Trades are interesting.

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#110 Time Travelling Sean
June 30 2013, 05:44PM
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Happy with Nurse, disappointed with everything else.

I was excited for meaningful trades, not moving down 20 spots for a 3rd and 4th rounder.

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#111 Walter Sobchak
June 30 2013, 05:48PM
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I would like to say that I'm not upset at the Nurse pick, the Oilers and the fans here are happy with Nurse and I'm saying its a safe pick for first time GM MacTavish.

I will say this, with the likes of.

Fedun - Marincin - Gernat - Musil - Simpson - Klefbom -Belov

Plus the natural depth chart of the Oilers Nurse is a long, long, long way down the list.

With the rumour of Ranger wanting to come to the Oilers, Nurse is at least 5th in the depth chart and can't play in the AHL for two years.

Nurse is at the very minimum at least 3 years away.

The Oilers passed on greater upside and skill, they passed on size in the top six, they passed on immediate help and they passed on need.

Time will tell, but I'm saying Lazar, Horvat, Rychel , Mantha , Nichushkin Will be as good or better with just as long of an upside.

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#112 Toby
June 30 2013, 05:49PM
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Draft performance underwhelming. Someone has their finger on the 'chicken-switch'! Tambo's ghost re-appears.

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#113 fig pucker
June 30 2013, 05:50PM
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Tom wrote:

Who says that Nurse need be in his prime when the current forward crop is in their prime. The Oilers are building for now and for the future. Would you rather build a team for only the next 5 years and then start all over? Not everybody needs to be in their prime all at the exact same time.

no but somebody in the bottom six and on the top defence pairing does, at some point if your going to contend for a playoff spot or god forbid the stanly cup, the future has to become the present and you have to sacrifice 7th overall picks and guys like nurse to fill those holes and make that transition. don't belive me ask the kings, the pens, the bruins and any number of playoff or cup contending teams who have traded away their first round picks to fill holes in their line ups. what the oilers are doing is a recipe for a neverending rebuild. how many more years of this do you think hall or eberle will take before they ask for a trade?

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#114 LinkfromHyrule
June 30 2013, 05:52PM
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what the heck is happening to all our picks?! My kool-aid is going sour... :(

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#115 Bonvie
June 30 2013, 05:54PM
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Who is Yakimov?

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#116 DrunkGuyTy
June 30 2013, 05:56PM
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Rod... Thinker... et al.

You guys are embarassing - go cheer for another team.

This is ONE FRICKIN' DAY ... talk about putting all your emotional stability in one basket.

Sometimes the real world doesn't align with your wet dreams.

Sheesh!!!

The Oilers are better today than they were yesterday and we didn't give up any assets.

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#117 Smokey
June 30 2013, 05:58PM
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shifty203 wrote:

He's not pulling a Tambo, he's pulling a MacT. Trading down all our picks to fill the team with pluggers who wouldn't crack any other teams line-up. ;)

I don't understand either what he is doing. OKC is loaded with prospects coming, and I don't know what the purpose with what 5 more extra picks.

I just don't think we are realistic expecting much. Remember trade deadline day. I use to take the day off work, now its a snooze fest. Cap really restricts teams, teams develop talent, and have alot trouble trading those assets.

We got Yakimov now. Man if he makes it, Yakupov to Yakimov will the scorn of every announcer.

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#118 Smokey
June 30 2013, 06:03PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I would like to say that I'm not upset at the Nurse pick, the Oilers and the fans here are happy with Nurse and I'm saying its a safe pick for first time GM MacTavish.

I will say this, with the likes of.

Fedun - Marincin - Gernat - Musil - Simpson - Klefbom -Belov

Plus the natural depth chart of the Oilers Nurse is a long, long, long way down the list.

With the rumour of Ranger wanting to come to the Oilers, Nurse is at least 5th in the depth chart and can't play in the AHL for two years.

Nurse is at the very minimum at least 3 years away.

The Oilers passed on greater upside and skill, they passed on size in the top six, they passed on immediate help and they passed on need.

Time will tell, but I'm saying Lazar, Horvat, Rychel , Mantha , Nichushkin Will be as good or better with just as long of an upside.

I believe Nurse can play next year in the AHL .Correct me please if I am wrong..

I say hes one year of junior away.He was the second ranked defenseman in a deep draft. Kids got talents.

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#119 Naky
June 30 2013, 06:05PM
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But OKC is not loaded with prospects coming? There are a lot of AHL/ECHL veterans on that team and we're already losing a number of our older prospects to free agency due to not qualifying them or what-not like Vande Velde, Tyvrainen, etc. in combination with other prospects not quite panning out as expected like Hamilton, Abney, and Pitlick to an extent. The rebuild is far from over in terms of stocking our minor league teams with the right balance of quality talent and only further highlights how bad our drafting and asset management was in the years before we decided to rebuild.

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#120 Norm
June 30 2013, 06:07PM
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I don't have a problem with Nurse as such. I haven't even seen him play one period. Maybe MacT should keep his mouth shut. The performance of MacGregor and his scouting staff would suggest they have dropped the ball. This is not going to go well with fans who have been massively oversold on what the Oil were going to deliver. Glad I'm not a class 1 fan.

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#121 TayLordBalls
June 30 2013, 06:11PM
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MacT and scouts did an excellent job on the draft.

Past 3 in, its a lottery and we got lots of tickets.

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#122 Al-36
June 30 2013, 06:13PM
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Since the Oil are drafting undersized fowards now why not go for Jordon Subban elite level talent just 5'9 on backend!

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#123 PChan121
June 30 2013, 06:15PM
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few russians in there too, Bogdan Yakimov, Nizhnekamsk, played with nail perhaps?

Edit: Nizhnekamsk 2, jr league. and at 6'5" big body!

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#124 K
June 30 2013, 06:22PM
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Very underwhelmed...am tired of the hype that never happens.

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#125 Smokey
June 30 2013, 06:28PM
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Naky wrote:

But OKC is not loaded with prospects coming? There are a lot of AHL/ECHL veterans on that team and we're already losing a number of our older prospects to free agency due to not qualifying them or what-not like Vande Velde, Tyvrainen, etc. in combination with other prospects not quite panning out as expected like Hamilton, Abney, and Pitlick to an extent. The rebuild is far from over in terms of stocking our minor league teams with the right balance of quality talent and only further highlights how bad our drafting and asset management was in the years before we decided to rebuild.

Depends upon what you think is a prospect and what you think is alot. Let me try again. The Oilers have many prospects in comparison to other organizations, and their prospect depth is concidered to be one of the best.

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#126 Quicksilver ballet
June 30 2013, 06:37PM
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Thought it was a good day for the Oilers. Nurse is going to be a stud on our blueline hopefully next season (2014-2015). We didn't get rolled by Holmgren or Gillis (Coburn or Schneider).

Now MacTavish can deal the 2014 draft selections along with roster players/prospects to "Help" teams with their cap concerns/cutting costs.

I'd narrow the scope considerably and key in on 8 to 10 players. Hartnell, Couturier, Rinaldo, Ott, Seguin, Bieksa, Myers, D.Brown, Khudobin, Ranger, and put out a 5 yr, 25 mill offer to Clarkson. If they can land a few of these guys it would help a great deal. Myers, Brown, Seguin and Beiksa would take some work, but if these teams had some fiscal foresight, they wouldn't have to consider a move such as these. Craig can swoop in and present them with some cost cutting financial options/provide them with some wiggle room.

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#127 DSF
June 30 2013, 06:38PM
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Smokey wrote:

I believe Nurse can play next year in the AHL .Correct me please if I am wrong..

I say hes one year of junior away.He was the second ranked defenseman in a deep draft. Kids got talents.

Wrong.

He has to play in the NHL or junior.

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#128 Slyers (not Sayers)
June 30 2013, 06:49PM
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@Dale

I totally agree that was my point .... See sarcasm

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#129 Time Travelling Sean
June 30 2013, 06:51PM
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DSF wrote:

Wrong.

He has to play in the NHL or junior.

Can't Sault Ste. Marie let him play in the AHL? Give them 15k to release him.

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#130 Slyers
June 30 2013, 06:53PM
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@Dale

Sorry I mean sarcasm towards Madjams comments not yours I like Nurse for all of the reasons you already mentioned

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#131 DSF
June 30 2013, 06:55PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

Can't Sault Ste. Marie let him play in the AHL? Give them 15k to release him.

No.

That would contravene the agreement between the CHL and the NHL.

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#132 andrewmk20
June 30 2013, 06:57PM
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The only thing that makes sense at this point is if MacT is planning on dealing the prospects we already have like Marincin, Gernat, etc. and he's preemptively trading for more picks so the prospect cupboard isn't empty.

If deals aren't made within the next few weeks than it's a little confusing, especially with the goaltender situation.

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#133 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 30 2013, 07:14PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Thought it was a good day for the Oilers. Nurse is going to be a stud on our blueline hopefully next season (2014-2015). We didn't get rolled by Holmgren or Gillis (Coburn or Schneider).

Now MacTavish can deal the 2014 draft selections along with roster players/prospects to "Help" teams with their cap concerns/cutting costs.

I'd narrow the scope considerably and key in on 8 to 10 players. Hartnell, Couturier, Rinaldo, Ott, Seguin, Bieksa, Myers, D.Brown, Khudobin, Ranger, and put out a 5 yr, 25 mill offer to Clarkson. If they can land a few of these guys it would help a great deal. Myers, Brown, Seguin and Beiksa would take some work, but if these teams had some fiscal foresight, they wouldn't have to consider a move such as these. Craig can swoop in and present them with some cost cutting financial options/provide them with some wiggle room.

^ THIS

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#134 Quicksilver ballet
June 30 2013, 07:22PM
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@Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

What were your thoughts ORG, on todays efforts?

Not a chance in H E double hockey sticks this draft rivals the 2003 draft. Hope the fail rate (outside or Nurse), doesn't exceed that near 93% benchmark from earlier years.

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#135 nuge2nail
June 30 2013, 07:25PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

^ THIS

Oiler Domination To Follow

Yeah we are going to get one of Myers, Brown, Seguin, Bieksa, Ott or Couturier with 2014 draft picks and prospects.

How foolish of me, now I see the plan, sweet bring on the playoffs.

So far Whitney out, Belov in.

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#136 NewAgeSys
June 30 2013, 07:33PM
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The kid says he wants to meet everyone but he cant wait to play with Nail because he looks like a character.

Is everyone paying attention here, our team is actually developing a goddam PERSONALITY.

We have Characters who want to play with other characters, YESSSSSSSSSS!

Finally someone who isnt feeling pressured to BE the next saviour, someone who is excited to rub shoulders with personalitys instead of just elite skillsets and already recognises the dynamic difference, excellent.

Compete young man , earn your way, be straightforward and motivated, remember there are no setbacks in pro sports only re-defined challenges.

Good luck Darnell, I believe you are in a very admirable position here. You have earned the chance to compete for an NHL job now. Make that happen by being here and now every single day, remembering that you are now facing what is the biggest challenge of your life so far, making an NHL team.

The Honeymoon is over now, its time to start making solid realistic plans.

Welcome to Edmonton kiddo. Enjoy your week off, and then bust a move man. Remember its not just a job it is an Adventure!

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#137 Dog Train
June 30 2013, 09:00PM
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I like the pick. There is no rush, let him develop for at least another season in junior. A few years down the road, I think that a top 4 of Nurse, Klefbom, J. Schultz and Petry would look pretty good.

Nichushkin was the only other option at this point but sooner or later we needed to get somebody like Nurse to really legitimize the future of our D corps. This kid sounds like a real character player, the type of leader that this young team will need on the backend.

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#138 Walter Sobchak
June 30 2013, 09:11PM
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Smokey wrote:

I believe Nurse can play next year in the AHL .Correct me please if I am wrong..

I say hes one year of junior away.He was the second ranked defenseman in a deep draft. Kids got talents.

No he's 18, he cant play in the AHL till 20.

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#139 Walter Sobchak
June 30 2013, 09:12PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Thought it was a good day for the Oilers. Nurse is going to be a stud on our blueline hopefully next season (2014-2015). We didn't get rolled by Holmgren or Gillis (Coburn or Schneider).

Now MacTavish can deal the 2014 draft selections along with roster players/prospects to "Help" teams with their cap concerns/cutting costs.

I'd narrow the scope considerably and key in on 8 to 10 players. Hartnell, Couturier, Rinaldo, Ott, Seguin, Bieksa, Myers, D.Brown, Khudobin, Ranger, and put out a 5 yr, 25 mill offer to Clarkson. If they can land a few of these guys it would help a great deal. Myers, Brown, Seguin and Beiksa would take some work, but if these teams had some fiscal foresight, they wouldn't have to consider a move such as these. Craig can swoop in and present them with some cost cutting financial options/provide them with some wiggle room.

It took for example Petry 7 years to become a reliable defensmen. 7 long years.

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#140 Walter Sobchak
June 30 2013, 09:13PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

Can't Sault Ste. Marie let him play in the AHL? Give them 15k to release him.

That's just not happening.

Not now, not in the next 8 years.

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#141 Lance
June 30 2013, 09:15PM
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Bad draft. More excuses.

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#142 onlyoil
June 30 2013, 09:34PM
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rob wrote:

no,the oilers organization is a joke,I have been a fan since 80 but will no longer support,watch or stomache the stupidity put forth by lowe,tambellini and now Mact!what a joke,bold moves my a##,back to the same old no playoffs,need time to grow ect,I cannot believe I fell for the idea they might do something to make us better!!go screw yourself mact

Ok, se ya

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#143 Rod from Viking
June 30 2013, 11:19PM
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DrunkGuyTy wrote:

Rod... Thinker... et al.

You guys are embarassing - go cheer for another team.

This is ONE FRICKIN' DAY ... talk about putting all your emotional stability in one basket.

Sometimes the real world doesn't align with your wet dreams.

Sheesh!!!

The Oilers are better today than they were yesterday and we didn't give up any assets.

What in the hell are you talking about, I said I would be disappointed if they couldn't make a trade with one of the second round picks and by the looks on Mac T's face when the Coburn trade went south he was too.I made the comment before they traded down to stock the cupboards and those moves were great. I also was hoping they would get Nurse as well. As far as being a real fan I have had season tickets for 20 years and have had a lot of long 1 1/2 drives home and have invested thousands in this team you go cheer for another team!

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#144 Gingervitus
July 01 2013, 12:03AM
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What a joke, rather than drafting an amazing player in Nichushkin and addressing actual needs of the team, we draft another defence man. While I will say one of our weaknesses is defence, we need NHL ready defence man, Nurse is just a prospect and won't play for at least 2-3 years in the NHL and we already have some quality D prospects in Marincin, Gernat, Musil and Klefblom. Nichushkin would have fulled two bigger needs, an amazing forward prospect, which we currently have none as it stands right now our best forward prospect is Anton Lander, which is a scary thought. Also we needed a big body at forward. I am just severally disappointed, it just doesn't seem like they want to get better, it is going to be another long year for Oilers fans.

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#145 Reg Dunlop
July 01 2013, 12:47AM
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Seems like I missed all the action(or inaction) today. I admit that I have not seen Nurse in action but tall lanky aggressive not afraid to drop the mitts future leader 1st round pick... seems to also describe Alex Plante and Colten Teubert. We are 5 years away from being able to accurately grade this draft class so I won't criticize the oil nor will I congratulate them. I will predict another bottom 5 finish, however, if we don't address our complete lack of NHL centres.

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#146 Big J
July 01 2013, 02:38AM
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onlyoil wrote:

Ok, se ya

@ Rob...I love your incisive analysis. Thanks for the inane tirade, the poor spelling and punctuation, the impressive ability to employ "what a joke" twice in the same post, and your enthusiastic child-like belief that things can change immediately by simply wishing it to be so. Lastly, thanks for deliberately sprinkling your post with the above mentioned errors so the rest of us don't feel so dumb.

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#147 pelhem grenville
July 01 2013, 07:25AM
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...really wanted Monahan...we really needed Monahan...felt like when old yeller died when the Fiester picked him...and a little like when Glencross went south as well and so...

IF YOU CAN'T GET A DATE >>> GET A NURSE

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#148 madjam
July 01 2013, 09:24AM
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We are overloaded with projects and mainly suspects . Our cupboards like Florida are overloaded . Both remain cellar dwellers because having so many makes it hard to give them all ample time and situations to develop . In a nutshell it is taking developing these prospects longer than it should to develop into NHL caliber players .

The mix of veteran to prospects is out of whack on the farm . Better to have more veterans and winning and only the 5-6 of the best with them to develop more rapidly . There is a big danger in having too many prospects trying to develop at same time . Same scenario could also be said of parent club , I suppose considering results . You want to see barren cupboards go take a look at Philly's club . Yet , Philly remains more competitive than Florida or the Oilers .

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#149 Nick
July 01 2013, 10:16AM
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Looks like a lot of you lost your heads. To me it's because you all really don't know who we picked, you just heard from the media who were the most recognized kids and were disappointed that we didn't get them.

Darnell Nurse is greater than Sean Monohan. Huge body, just wait until he adds pounds to that frame. He is exactly what we need. We can always pick up a second / third centerman. Franchise defense men are much harder as we haven't had one since Pronger left. Nurses family is used to the media life which is something he won't need to learn. Another year in junior and if he's not in AHL I expect him to get called up. I'd give him at least two years to season him, no need to rush.

I don't know anything about Bogdam Yakimov but 6'5" center? Yakupov was already welcoming him and Slepyshev which will really help getting them over.

Anton Slepyshev is supposed to be a real gem. The Russian factor is why he wasn't picked last year. Nobody thought he would come over. Kids been playing in KHL for two years. This was a big win for us. This kid is going to really be something special.

We stockpiled our prospects as we basically rushed all of our picks to NHL. Now we can let them season and have more for our AHL club.

And everyone annoyed about not landing Brandon Coburn. Just because it didn't happen at the draft doesn't mean it won't happen at all. As reported the carter trade didn't happen right away but did eventually.

I'm so happy we didn't trade our #7 for Schnieder. We still need to address our goalie situation. Maybe Hillier, Emery or someone completely different.

Give it some time to see how it all pans out.

Avatar
#150 Evilas
July 01 2013, 10:41AM
Trash it!
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trashes
+1
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props

I am okay with this draft. Now Nurse will have an opportunity to play as a #1 D and will have a lot more time on the PP, which will further his development in the Soo. I have faith in MacT, for a new and impatient GM, he hasn't lost his head and sold the farm. If you try to always swing for the fences you are going to strike out at least 65% of the time.

Patience people, lets see what the next month brings, we don't need any more teenagers on this roster.

The Oilers have added to the depth of the prospects pool and in the end it will make for a more competitive atmosphere, which will ultimately benefit the team. The draft is about bringing in potential, its about 3-5 yrs from now, not about today, too many 1st overall picks have confused too many posters....

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