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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#51 Smokey
June 30 2013, 02:15PM
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Rob... wrote:

I'm more worried that the Oilers will Matt Green him. Darnell is going to rack of the penalty minutes early on because the dumb zebras won't accept a 'hockey play' from a young player. Oilers should have rode the storm and kept Green, and I hope they learnt their lesson.

Love Matt Green. But he was never more then a 5th defensemen, who was included in a trade where we got the best player.

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#52 Jeffff
June 30 2013, 02:16PM
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@madjam

I'm surprised they didn't come to you for a scouting report.

Hate to say it but I told you so.

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#53 rob
June 30 2013, 02:17PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

MacT would have been stupid to trade #7 pick, 2nd rounder and prospect which is what Canuks for Schnieder to trade within division with only 2 years left on contract. Goltending is like 5th or 6th on priority list. Niettereiter former 5th overall pickis big price for 3rd line banger. Islanders mishandled him and he will be a very good player. with 29 other GM's desperate to make trades, 2 guys traded and you are giving up on MacT already. Be realistic, you can't get everyone you are interested in. Glad you won't be cheering for the Oil as you say, they don't need fans like you anyway!

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

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#54 nuge2nail
June 30 2013, 02:18PM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

Disappointed.

Schneider for Nurse is a trade i would do a million times over.

We could have than traded Dubnyk for a player like Coburn.

On top of that Valeri would have provided us the size upfront we lack.

Gagner Yakupov ______ - good luck filling in the top six spot with a power forward.

This convo about adding size upfront is getting old.

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#55 fatso
June 30 2013, 02:20PM
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Good pick for the oil just the kind of player we needed, im cool with having him in the AHL for the fist year to develop his skills that he already has just to get them up to NHL standards.

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#56 MarcusBillius
June 30 2013, 02:22PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

Disappointed.

Schneider for Nurse is a trade i would do a million times over.

We could have than traded Dubnyk for a player like Coburn.

On top of that Valeri would have provided us the size upfront we lack.

Gagner Yakupov ______ - good luck filling in the top six spot with a power forward.

This convo about adding size upfront is getting old.

The Oilers offered #7, the second rounder, and a top prospect for Schneider. Vancouver chose to deal with the Devils.

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#57 Thumby
June 30 2013, 02:24PM
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Finally drafted some "nasty"....EXACTLY what this team needs. I think we've got a nice series of D coming to the big club. If Nurse is your 6 th D in 2014-15 should be just fine. If he's top 4, were screwed.

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#58 nuge2nail
June 30 2013, 02:24PM
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book¡e wrote:

Why are there so many stupid comments here today?

Oiler Domination To Follow

I think us fans are just getting impatient with the infini-build.

Can you blame us? It's going to be 8 years next year with no playoffs.

Im 27, the best years of my life are slowly passing by, id like to see a playoff game maybe once in my 20's.

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#59 Shifty203
June 30 2013, 02:26PM
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Starting to look like Mact pulled a Rambo and left his phone at home today. I guess you could call doing nothing "bold".

Not that I actually expected him to do anything.

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#60 nuge2nail
June 30 2013, 02:26PM
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Thumby wrote:

Finally drafted some "nasty"....EXACTLY what this team needs. I think we've got a nice series of D coming to the big club. If Nurse is your 6 th D in 2014-15 should be just fine. If he's top 4, were screwed.

Oiler Domination To Follow

Sweet we added a #5/#6 Defenceman for next year... We needed one of those. Bring on the playoffs.

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#61 dawgbone
June 30 2013, 02:28PM
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He's basically the Chara of the OHL. Skates great for a big guy.

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#62 fatso
June 30 2013, 02:29PM
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as for the the goalie thing we have a good goalie but another one would be prime, we need a good goalie from a mid rage team not from a top team like vancover or chciago - khabibulin

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#63 BC BOY
June 30 2013, 02:35PM
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frank dovelli wrote:

Awful pick, project d-man who won't play a lick in the league. Good to see the MacT era is going to be trash.

You have no idea what you are talking about. Anyone who is 6'5", can skate, fight and is mean has a good chance of playing in the NHL

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#64 Smokey
June 30 2013, 02:37PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

Disappointed.

Schneider for Nurse is a trade i would do a million times over.

We could have than traded Dubnyk for a player like Coburn.

On top of that Valeri would have provided us the size upfront we lack.

Gagner Yakupov ______ - good luck filling in the top six spot with a power forward.

This convo about adding size upfront is getting old.

Your a minority that would do Nurse for Schneider. You and Mcguire agree, that should tell you something.

Like has been said, Nurse was a top pairing defencemen at the Ivan Hlinka, and will be a probably be a top pairing defensemen. When you think what MacT saw in Klefbom, I think he saw similar puck retreival, and puck movement skill in Nurse. He is also mean. Ristolainen may of had better offensive upside, but Nurse has better defensive abilities. Too me its a saw off.

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#65 Smokey
June 30 2013, 02:43PM
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I wonder if MacT can make a move and get one of Shinkaruk, Lazar, Zadorov. How about MPS straightup.

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#66 madjam
June 30 2013, 02:52PM
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Jeffff wrote:

I'm surprised they didn't come to you for a scouting report.

Hate to say it but I told you so.

Can't always account for Oilers questionable moves , but Risto will certainly turn out better , just you watch and see . Have to question why they did not go with skill as apparently they said ? If they thought he was most skilled left then one should question them all and entire scouting group . Apparantly Gillis wanted our first , second and prospect for Schneider , yet they took a later first only basically for Schneider . Figure that out . Still should have got something off Buffalo for leaving Risto available .Off the board pick as far as i'm concerned . MacT.appears to be another weak dealer so far .

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#67 Stack Pad Save
June 30 2013, 03:03PM
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Smokey wrote:

I wonder if MacT can make a move and get one of Shinkaruk, Lazar, Zadorov. How about MPS straightup.

Smokey is a perfect name for you. Why would you want to trade an NHL calibre player for a midling 1st rounder who may never even make the NHL?

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#68 Stack Pad Save
June 30 2013, 03:04PM
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Anybody know who the Oilers will be looking at for the second round pick?

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#69 Thinker
June 30 2013, 03:05PM
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@StHenriOilBomb

Okay, The McIlrath comparison was probably harsh, bit this is a dumb pick. We drafted for current need by taking a player 3-4 years away. There is zero chance that edmonton lets its defence be so inept for another three years(at least I jope to god they do). Schultz is a number two, potentially number one once his defence rounds out. Petry is your number three. Smid is a second pairing d as well, but is probably better suited as a shutdown d.Therefore your need is a first pairing defender. Nurse's cielling is second pairing according to most scouts. So that puts nurse on the third pairing when he gets her, assuming there is still a spot after klefbom, marincin, gernat, simpson, musil, ect get a shot. If we needed a defensive PROSPECT, we needed a first pairing puck mover. Enter Ristolainen. The Finn is mobile, puts up points, and would fit nicely into a first pairing role.

Secondly, Edmonton needs a big skill forwardor skilled two way center, an equally valuable asset, preferably one who could step in tomorrow. If you fear nichushkin's attitude problems, you ought to trade down and select Horvat, or similar and pick up another asset.

Most importantly first round dmen are almost a crapshoot. To gamble on a player with such a low ceilling is stupid. Its like betting on the 50-1 horse vs the 80-1 horse. If your going to make a bad bet, you moght as well swing for the fences. Nurse is second pairing at best, so in all liklihood he is a third pairing by the time you take out the exaggerations of the draft. Plus he is a project, and is set to debut after edmonton is inside the playoff window. In three years, the oilers need players who can deliver value high in the batting order to alleviate cap pressure. Replacing a third pairing defence with Nurse will save you $0. Having ristolainem play as a 2-4 dman could save you a significant amount.

Where do you play Nurse? My guess is bottom pairing. Also remember we a big game hunting for top four. Schultz Klefbom Petry Marincin Smid Musil Schultz

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#70 Smokey
June 30 2013, 03:09PM
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I sure hope.Calgary doesn't Shinkaruk.

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#71 KJ
June 30 2013, 03:09PM
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madjam wrote:

Can't always account for Oilers questionable moves , but Risto will certainly turn out better , just you watch and see . Have to question why they did not go with skill as apparently they said ? If they thought he was most skilled left then one should question them all and entire scouting group . Apparantly Gillis wanted our first , second and prospect for Schneider , yet they took a later first only basically for Schneider . Figure that out . Still should have got something off Buffalo for leaving Risto available .Off the board pick as far as i'm concerned . MacT.appears to be another weak dealer so far .

How do you know that Buffalo did not want Nurse, and only took Ristoleinen because he was gone?

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#72 2004Z06
June 30 2013, 03:11PM
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Nurse is a great pick. I would have liked Nishkuskin as well, but I am happy with Nurse. This guy might be a year away, but he will be a top 3 D man for sure within 3 yrs. Mac T said he wanted character, grit and players that are tough to play against. Nurse is that guy! I guess some of you weren't listening at the pressers. Draft for the future, trade for the present. Wait until after FA before you start judging Mac T's moves. Our D could very well be set for years now. Not to mention they will be the biggest, nastiest D in the league. You will appreciate this pick when we are playing Calgary and Vancouver in a couple years and crushing instead of being manhandled.

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#73 Rod from Viking
June 30 2013, 03:12PM
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Patience Oiler fans, the Oilers have two second round picks, I will be very disappointed if one of these are not involved in a meaningful trade. They still have another 5 days to make wow moves.What big deals have any other teams made?

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#74 Newj
June 30 2013, 03:14PM
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@Smokey

Isles made the playoffs & made considerable improvement this year without Nino. They added an element the Oil also need..some grit & checking ability. Nino isnt that type of player...yes he has skill & was 5th overall pick but not something Islanders or Oil need.

Garth did well with Pulock..could be a solid much needed dman.

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#75 Stack Pad Save
June 30 2013, 03:14PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

I'm happy with the pick.....

Even happier to see that some of the guys, whose hockey opinions I have little respect for on this site, don't like the pick.......

I second that thought

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#76 Thinker
June 30 2013, 03:15PM
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@StHenriOilBomb

Give this a read too. Fact is we wasted a valuable pick on a relatively worthless commodity. How bad do you want a luke schenn for your bottom pairing? http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/6/7/4405194/darnell-nurse-draft-comparables

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#77 Stack Pad Save
June 30 2013, 03:21PM
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Thinker wrote:

Give this a read too. Fact is we wasted a valuable pick on a relatively worthless commodity. How bad do you want a luke schenn for your bottom pairing? http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/6/7/4405194/darnell-nurse-draft-comparables

Comparables are used to compare possible points in the NHL based on junior careers. This doesn't tell us how good of a defensive player Nurse will be, nor does it tell how physical or smart or good he will be in the NHL. Plus using analytics like this for defensive players is known to be a stretch for predicting how good they will actually be.

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#78 Smokey
June 30 2013, 03:23PM
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MacT should offer Marincin and 37th or whatever for 23rd and grab Skinkaruk, just.to piss off Calgary fans.

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#79 Rama Lama
June 30 2013, 03:28PM
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We have a Nurse in the house.........time to find a Doctor now!

Flames must have some sic scouts to pull another Janowski..........hoping for a big trade soon.

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#80 PChan121
June 30 2013, 03:32PM
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can't believe all these comments about nurse. Personally I love and wanted the oils to pick him. Whats not to like? Big and mean, family blood line seem solid. as for bold trades....... may not in the draft, but the day is still young, beside, there is still the free agency coming up, why don't you guys judge after everything is done, then you can start bashing. just saying

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#81 Smokey
June 30 2013, 03:32PM
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Vancouver did well. Shinkaruk is a good pick-up. Gillis has looked good today. Pisses me right off.

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#82 Thinker
June 30 2013, 03:33PM
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@Stack Pad Save

I think those were reasonable comparables. Smid is a great defensive player, do you burn a top ten pick on him? What do you think nurse's potential is?

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#83 madjam
June 30 2013, 03:37PM
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KJ wrote:

How do you know that Buffalo did not want Nurse, and only took Ristoleinen because he was gone?

They wanted him to go with last years highly touted Finn Armia on their site and elsewhere , and many were touting Risto to Philly as well . We should have gotten something for laying off Risto as far as i'm concerned . No I am not high on Nurse as a 7th pick in this draft . He is what he is and still has a weak shot which doesn't bode well for offence . One person said he had booming shot - he must have meant he had to many shots to drink . This might rank up there with the Doan scenario .

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#84 Thinker
June 30 2013, 03:38PM
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It should also be noted how dumb it was to win two meaningless games at the end of the season. We risked the health of our good players to get a worse pick. Especially dumb considering vancouver benched half their roster.

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#85 Smokey
June 30 2013, 03:38PM
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PChan121 wrote:

can't believe all these comments about nurse. Personally I love and wanted the oils to pick him. Whats not to like? Big and mean, family blood line seem solid. as for bold trades....... may not in the draft, but the day is still young, beside, there is still the free agency coming up, why don't you guys judge after everything is done, then you can start bashing. just saying

There would be haters if they took anyone of Nurse, Ristolainen, Nichuskin, Horvat.

They picked a guy slotted at 7, did not trade for an over rated goalie. We should take solace in that. I wanted Risto, or Nich, but I'm happy as a pig in shyt we got Nurse. No off the board non BPA Calgary BS. I said a prayer to my maker to said thx we Vancouver saved us from MacT pulling a Feaster.

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#86 WhattaMike
June 30 2013, 03:47PM
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Howdy and Congrats going out to the Oilers' #7 pick Darnell Nurse... Great pick for the very near future!!! If the Oilers keep all their defence core players/new upcoming prospects what a great type size set up with the type given offensive skills and defensive skills the team now has...

Ladi Smid (6'3"), J. Petry (6'3"), J. Schultz (6'2"), then there are... D. Nurse (6'4"), O. Klefbom (6'3"), M. Gernat (6'5"), M. Marancin (6'4"), D. Musil (6'4"), B. Davidson (6'1"), Dillon Simpson (6'2"), etc...

Now it is centres, centres, then centres...the Oilers gotta go for,

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#87 messyEH!
June 30 2013, 03:52PM
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Ok. When you draft a defenceman, it is never about todays need. (That is why Jones fell in the draft.) It is hard to trade for a top pairing defenseman. Cost to much to sign one. So you draft and develop one. But that takes years.( Can you imagine if we took adam larson over RNH. ) Nurse will be our hero in 5 or 6 years. Let him finish junior. Sign an entry level deal. Play the whole term in AHL. Then on his second contract let him make the jump. He will be 23 or 24. 30 pounds heavier. Lit, fit, and ready to give. ...............his all.

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#88 Thumby
June 30 2013, 04:06PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

Sweet we added a #5/#6 Defenceman for next year... We needed one of those. Bring on the playoffs.

6th defence an his 1st year, never said that was his limit, he's cut from the pronger cloth... Give him a few years to season and then see what we've got...

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#89 fig pucker
June 30 2013, 04:07PM
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WhattaMike wrote:

Howdy and Congrats going out to the Oilers' #7 pick Darnell Nurse... Great pick for the very near future!!! If the Oilers keep all their defence core players/new upcoming prospects what a great type size set up with the type given offensive skills and defensive skills the team now has...

Ladi Smid (6'3"), J. Petry (6'3"), J. Schultz (6'2"), then there are... D. Nurse (6'4"), O. Klefbom (6'3"), M. Gernat (6'5"), M. Marancin (6'4"), D. Musil (6'4"), B. Davidson (6'1"), Dillon Simpson (6'2"), etc...

Now it is centres, centres, then centres...the Oilers gotta go for,

yes, but the problem is the disconnect between when our young forwards mature and are in their prime (which will happen in the very near future) and when our young defensive prospects schultz, klefbolm and nurse mature and are in their prime (even schultz is 2-3 years from that, nurse 5-6 years). so the reason i'm upset isn't because of nurse, it's because by the time he's good the ship may have sailed on our young forwords (they'll want to much money, their sick of losing, their injured or aren't that good anymore, and will be gone from edmonton) we need guys in their prime now to fill these holes in our line up and help us win before our hope of a stanly cup disapears.

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#90 Bonvie
June 30 2013, 04:09PM
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madjam wrote:

Disappointment ,we should have got something from Buffalo for leaving Risto available . No wonder we are still in the basement . MacT. as bad as Tams for dealing , but at least Tams was quiet about it .

You two don't have a clue what your talking about the Oilers picked the best player available there only option would have been to trade up or down, but they got a great character defense who will worst case scenario be a journeyman character dman like Smid. This guys upside is at the Weber Pronger level. All of the Oilers Dman prospects are more in the offensive mold we need a big shutdown Dman in our system, now we have it.

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#91 nuge2nail
June 30 2013, 04:14PM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

Why is everyone saying Schneider is overrated? What's overrated about him, his ridiculous Save percentage or his impressive career up to this point?

Yes nurse who has potential but is not proven, is underrated- but kne of the youngest brightest goalies in the NhL is overrated...

Please make more sense.

We need impact players, starting to lose faith it's goings to happen.

I really really really Hope im proven wrong.

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#92 Dale
June 30 2013, 04:23PM
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@Sayers

Nurse was exactly what the Oilers needed. By all accounts, this guy's compete level is off the charts. The last thing the Oilers need is a talented player with no heart, no desire, and no work ethic.

Talent - desire = waste of talent

Nurse is a great skater, punishes opponents with great hitting, scored more points than Risto did last year, and played against other team's top lines last year. Three years to wait? I would be surprised if he spends more than half a season in the AHL and is not a starting regular by January 2014. MacT came within a game of coaching a Stanley cup winning team, largely due to having a dominant punishing D-man in Pronger and knows exactly how important this kind of player is. There is a good chance that Nurse will be that type of player. Great pick!

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#93 rob
June 30 2013, 04:26PM
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that was a horrible day to be an oilers fan,Mact let us down,only worse days were 06 final,pronger wanting out of town and smith scoring on our own net against calgary.the day started with optimism and ending relizing no matter who it is(lowe,tambo,mact)the oilers will continue to be a basement team,oh well when hall ebs and co want to go we cant blame them!

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#94 Alsker
June 30 2013, 04:33PM
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Hmm..well we still have 2 seconds to trade to Philly, hopefully still fits their needs..WE WANT COUBURN

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#95 rob
June 30 2013, 04:36PM
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Alsker wrote:

Hmm..well we still have 2 seconds to trade to Philly, hopefully still fits their needs..WE WANT COUBURN

not happening with mact at the helm!

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#96 Bonvie
June 30 2013, 04:42PM
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rob wrote:

that was a horrible day to be an oilers fan,Mact let us down,only worse days were 06 final,pronger wanting out of town and smith scoring on our own net against calgary.the day started with optimism and ending relizing no matter who it is(lowe,tambo,mact)the oilers will continue to be a basement team,oh well when hall ebs and co want to go we cant blame them!

He may have let you down, but I'm liking what he's done. He just turned his second into a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Kind of makes up for the wasted pick on Smithson I was so baffled by.

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#97 Mikey
June 30 2013, 04:43PM
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Dale wrote:

Nurse was exactly what the Oilers needed. By all accounts, this guy's compete level is off the charts. The last thing the Oilers need is a talented player with no heart, no desire, and no work ethic.

Talent - desire = waste of talent

Nurse is a great skater, punishes opponents with great hitting, scored more points than Risto did last year, and played against other team's top lines last year. Three years to wait? I would be surprised if he spends more than half a season in the AHL and is not a starting regular by January 2014. MacT came within a game of coaching a Stanley cup winning team, largely due to having a dominant punishing D-man in Pronger and knows exactly how important this kind of player is. There is a good chance that Nurse will be that type of player. Great pick!

He is too young to play in AHL. He might and that's a big might, get to play his 9 games in the nHL this year.

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#98 Bryant
June 30 2013, 04:45PM
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I would hate to be an oilers D prospect now. Not all of them are going to be able to play with The great group of forwards we have. Please select Only forwards with the rest of or picks...

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#99 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
June 30 2013, 04:46PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

We have a Nurse in the house.........time to find a Doctor now!

Flames must have some sic scouts to pull another Janowski..........hoping for a big trade soon.

We had the good doctor, or are you forgetting about Randy Gregg

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#100 Smokey
June 30 2013, 04:49PM
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cheers

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.

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