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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#1 OilClog
June 30 2013, 01:47PM
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Why do we need 20 people on stage?!? Embarrassing.

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#2 The Real Scuba Steve
June 30 2013, 01:48PM
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Wow, where are these bold moves MacT was talking about?

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#3 Thinker
June 30 2013, 01:50PM
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Dumbest thing we could have done. Ristolainen will be ten times the player. Not to mention nichushkin. Edmonton meet Dylan McIlrath 2.0

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#4 The Real Scuba Steve
June 30 2013, 01:51PM
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Kazt is shorter that Garry Battman LOL

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#5 Yakman
June 30 2013, 01:52PM
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Would have preferred nichushkin.

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#6 toprightcorner
June 30 2013, 01:53PM
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I like the pick but the Oilers better have him spend 1 or 2 years in junior to further develop and not risk rushing him.

Fans will need to be patient but defenseman need time, look at Hedman, Larsen, Gudbranson, Murray nad Reinhart - none made an impact the following year or even the year after.

Rushing him would be the biggest mistake

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#7 Krusher
June 30 2013, 01:54PM
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Exactly what Oil need long term. They got it right today all considered

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#8 Rob...
June 30 2013, 01:56PM
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@Thinker

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.

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#9 OilClog
June 30 2013, 01:56PM
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Nurse is a great pick up.

Only going to get bigger, meaner, and more beast like.

Oilers need this, especially going up against the teams in our division now. Someone that is going to scare forwards coming forward. Beautiful

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#10 Senhor
June 30 2013, 01:57PM
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Will Nurse play next year? Oilers need help NOW! And no other kids around to clutter up the stage?

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#11 Louche zoo
June 30 2013, 01:59PM
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Anybody surprised that MacT went with character? U shouldn't be. Lots to like about Nichushkin, but there are questions about his character.

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#12 toprightcorner
June 30 2013, 01:59PM
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Thinker wrote:

Dumbest thing we could have done. Ristolainen will be ten times the player. Not to mention nichushkin. Edmonton meet Dylan McIlrath 2.0

Ristolainen is awesome but among many scouts, he is the most likely to not reach his potential. Nukushkin is a beast but the Oil would have to have him on the roster or he stays with the KHL and potentially never comes back, no way MacT will risk his first ever draft pick as GM to not come to the NHL. Wouldn't surprise me if Nukuskin falls to 10th.

Edmonton needs to spread out a few guys, cant have a high end player come off entry level deal 4 or 5 years in a row or they will run out of cap space by the time they are competitive.

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#13 madjam
June 30 2013, 01:59PM
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Thinker wrote:

Dumbest thing we could have done. Ristolainen will be ten times the player. Not to mention nichushkin. Edmonton meet Dylan McIlrath 2.0

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 .

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#14 OilClog
June 30 2013, 02:00PM
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@Rob...

I don't think that's possible.. he's already a superior player to Matt Green.

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#15 rob
June 30 2013, 02:01PM
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another let down,no bold moves to help team (nurse will be good a couple of years)but no trades or anything!clutterbuck gone,schinder gone,what a joke from mact,wont be cheering the oilers or the joke of managment they make us choke down every year,LET DOWN LET DOWN LET DOWN!after making us stomaching tambellini for so long we get a jack@## like mact!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#16 fig pucker
June 30 2013, 02:02PM
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what a disappointment, but not because of nurse. he'll be a pretty good player, 5 or 6 years from now. we have enough up and comming talent, we need players that are in their prime now. this rebuild is going to make the 100 years war seem like a flash in the pan. epic failure mac t.

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#17 toprightcorner
June 30 2013, 02:04PM
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Schnieder for Bo Horvat, Gillis is a MORON, How does that help Van with the window for a cup quickly closing. Can't help but laugh at that joke of an organization internally!!

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#18 frank dovelli
June 30 2013, 02:06PM
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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.

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#19 Newj
June 30 2013, 02:06PM
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Nurse is a good skating, tough dman. His game is something the Oil will benefit from in years to come.

MacT hasnt landed Clutterbuck, or either of the Van goalies. Lets hope he does more in the UFA or RFA market.

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#20 toprightcorner
June 30 2013, 02:11PM
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rob wrote:

another let down,no bold moves to help team (nurse will be good a couple of years)but no trades or anything!clutterbuck gone,schinder gone,what a joke from mact,wont be cheering the oilers or the joke of managment they make us choke down every year,LET DOWN LET DOWN LET DOWN!after making us stomaching tambellini for so long we get a jack@## like mact!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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!

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#21 The Real Scuba Steve
June 30 2013, 02:13PM
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Anybody notice Kevin Lowe was no where to be seen?

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#22 The Real Scuba Steve
June 30 2013, 02:13PM
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Anybody notice Kevin Lowe was no where to be seen?

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#23 The Real Scuba Steve
June 30 2013, 02:13PM
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Anybody notice Kevin Lowe was no where to be seen?

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#24 rob
June 30 2013, 02:13PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

Schnieder for Bo Horvat, Gillis is a MORON, How does that help Van with the window for a cup quickly closing. Can't help but laugh at that joke of an organization internally!!

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

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#25 rob
June 30 2013, 02:13PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

Schnieder for Bo Horvat, Gillis is a MORON, How does that help Van with the window for a cup quickly closing. Can't help but laugh at that joke of an organization internally!!

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

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#26 rob
June 30 2013, 02:14PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

Schnieder for Bo Horvat, Gillis is a MORON, How does that help Van with the window for a cup quickly closing. Can't help but laugh at that joke of an organization internally!!

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

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#27 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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#28 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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#29 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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#30 book¡e
June 30 2013, 02:17PM
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Why are there so many stupid comments here today?

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#31 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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#32 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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#33 Smokey
June 30 2013, 02:22PM
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Newj wrote:

Nurse is a good skating, tough dman. His game is something the Oil will benefit from in years to come.

MacT hasnt landed Clutterbuck, or either of the Van goalies. Lets hope he does more in the UFA or RFA market.

Anyone who complains we did not land Clutterbuck, just be happy. Look.what it took, and upcomong forner 5th overall pick. What on earth is Garth Snow on. Keeping the bad line of NY GM's going. Well that if u forget Neil Smith's internship. Wanger gotta stop pulling strings.

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#34 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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#35 StHenriOilBomb
June 30 2013, 02:23PM
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Thinker wrote:

Dumbest thing we could have done. Ristolainen will be ten times the player. Not to mention nichushkin. Edmonton meet Dylan McIlrath 2.0

hey "Thinker",

care to back up your assessment with some thoughts and reason?

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#36 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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#37 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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#38 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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#39 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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#40 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 30 2013, 02:28PM
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Darnell Nurse is Seth Jones with a mean streak.

BOOK IT!

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#41 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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#42 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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#43 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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#44 Smokey
June 30 2013, 02:35PM
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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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#45 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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#46 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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#47 Like it matters
June 30 2013, 02:45PM
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You guys are all morons. We don't need Schneider. He's not that much of an upgrade that he's worth those picks and a prospect. Darnell is exactly what we need. Go eat some more mushrooms

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#48 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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#49 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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#50 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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