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, Sportsnet, 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 bazmagoo
June 30 2013, 04:53PM
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My guess is the Islanders, the Wild, and Philly all wanted Paajarvi coming to make any deal possible. Personally I think that would have been a mistake so I'm glad they didn't make any of those deals.

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#102 HardBoiledOil
June 30 2013, 04:54PM
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f'n excellent!! if we couldn't have Monahan, Nurse is exactly the player i wanted!!

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#103 Thinker
June 30 2013, 05:00PM
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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?

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#104 BArmstrong
June 30 2013, 05:06PM
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@Thinker

"Every single player is overrated at the draft, if every player hit their comparisons, the NHL would be a hell of a league."

What does it matter then?

I like the pick - hire character, teach skill.

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#105 oilerjed
June 30 2013, 05:11PM
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I would have liked Nicushin but maybe risky, maybe worth the risk?. To those hoping the draft will get us in the playoffs, get real! Its all about organizational depth at the draft. Good Dman are like prepaid visa cards, easy to trade for value when needed. Unlike forwards which we obviously cant unload. Wait until after UFA opens for the team moves to get made, its a long summer.

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#106 Walter Sobchak
June 30 2013, 05:12PM
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BArmstrong wrote:

"Every single player is overrated at the draft, if every player hit their comparisons, the NHL would be a hell of a league."

What does it matter then?

I like the pick - hire character, teach skill.

Teach skill?

~Really! Jeez, if my hockey coach would have only taught me some skill!~

I'll go slow.

You can't teach skill, you can't teach a player offensive instinct or hockey IQ.

You can teach character, you can teach foot speed.

The Oilers made a safe pick and left a lot of skill and need on the floor period.

MacTavish could have traded down, got another asset and still came away with a player with about the same statistical chance of being a regular NHL player.

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#107 Thinker
June 30 2013, 05:13PM
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@BArmstrong

What I meant was you can't just say he's pronger because the scouts say it, you have to have actual evidence ie stats. Also I think skill is the most important, you can't teach skill. Characters sometimes emerge over time, as these kids grow up. Mark messier had personality flaws when he was young. I don't care if I have have an alex semin, at least then you have a player. Anton lander has great character, he isn't helping none, and I don't see him learning skill.

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#108 Tom
June 30 2013, 05:16PM
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fig pucker wrote:

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.

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.

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#109 Smokey
June 30 2013, 05:25PM
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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!

BS. How many big deals went down. One, and Gillis saved our bacon by trading outta the division. Clutterbuck went for a king ransom. We should of gotten Bolland and Coburn. Expecting a 3 way 10 player hockeybuzz special did not transpire . Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make. This is far from a dark day for most of us, maybe for you. Read the blog, half the fan bse is ok with not screwing up the 7th. Wish a trade went down for Coburn, wait for the story. Shock and awe is rare lately.

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#110 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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#111 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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#112 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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#113 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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#114 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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#115 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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#116 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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#117 DigDeepNBleedBlue
June 30 2013, 05:44PM
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Good pick! Tough D-man.

Trades are interesting.

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#118 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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#119 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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#120 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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#121 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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#122 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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#123 Bonvie
June 30 2013, 05:54PM
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Who is Yakimov?

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#124 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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#125 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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#126 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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#127 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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#128 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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#129 K
June 30 2013, 06:22PM
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Very underwhelmed...am tired of the hype that never happens.

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#130 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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#131 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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#132 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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#133 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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#134 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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#135 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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#136 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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#137 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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#138 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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#139 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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#140 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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#141 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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#142 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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#143 Lance
June 30 2013, 09:15PM
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Bad draft. More excuses.

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#144 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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#145 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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#146 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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#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!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

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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