It was the news we’ve been waiting for all summer long, but word has finally broken that the Oilers have signed Darnell Nurse to a two-year, $3.2 million contract.
Oilers and Nurse have reached an agreement. His AAV will be $3.2 million. #Oilers
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) September 17, 2018
Since being drafted 7th overall at the 2013 NHL Draft, Darnell Nurse has been a guy that’s been on top of everyone’s mind when it comes to the Oilers’ defence and rightfully so. He’s big, strong, talented, and has the ability to skate the puck out of trouble with ease, so it makes a world of sense to get excited about a prospect like that even though his development has been a little bit slower than some might have originally hoped. Even so, Nurse played the most minutes of any Oilers defender last season (1824) and averaged second most in TOI/game (22:15) and that’s no small feat for a guy that’s only 23 years old.
To the delight of the Nation, Nurse took a significant step forward in 2017-18, setting a career high in scoring with six goals and 20 assists for 26 points in 82 games. That total tied him with Colton Parayko for 24th most among NHL defenceman (atta be Darryl!). Not only that, Nurse’s 26 points led all Oilers defenders in even strength points while also sporting the best goal differential at even strength (69-56). Looking ahead at the upcoming season, Nurse’s role will likely continue to expand, especially with Andrej Sekera out of the lineup indefinitely, and this new deal gives the Oilers some insurance and time to hope that the player continues to develop as planned. To this point in his career, the 6’4″ defenceman has posted 47 points (14G, 33A) and 160 PIMs in 197 NHL games. Needless to say, Nurse is already and will continue to be a major piece of the Oilers defence and getting him locked up before the season started was absolutely essential.
Needless to say, getting this deal done took a lot longer than any of us probably expected and some of you jokers were starting to freak out a little bit, but Nurse’s name is finally on a fresh contract and all of the major summer to-dos are basically wrapped up as we wait for the season to start. Is it October yet?
Despite the extended wait, I’m happy to see that ol’ Darryl’s contract was finally done and signed. Not that I was expecting anything less than getting this done before the season started, but it was interesting to see that his name didn’t appear on a dotted line before September. Personally, I had thought that Nurse and Strome would get signed in quick succession so it was definitely surprising that Nurse didn’t get done until now. That said, at the end of the day, it’s not like it matters that it took time to get done so long as the contract was signed before the season started, and now that Nurse’s name is written on the dotted line all that’s left to do is wait out these last few weeks.
Now that Nurse is locked in at $3.2 million for the next two years, the Oilers roster is essentially complete aside from waiting to see what happens with a few of the guys that came in on PTOs. With Josh Morrissey signing a two-year deal yesterday, it seemed like only a matter of time before Nurse would follow suit, though, I am somewhat surprised that he got more. Regardless, Nurse’s deal is done and we no longer have to worry about what the hell is holding things up, and can instead focus on the regular season. Yes, took a little bit longer than we expected or hoped, but the deal is done and there is still plenty of pre-season left to be played and that’s what’s important here.
What do you guys think?
NURSE’S PROFESSIONAL CAREER SO FAR
|2013-14||Oklahoma City Barons||AHL||4||1||1||-1||3||1||1||7|
|2014-15||Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds||OHL||36||10||23||33||58||18||14||3||5||8||26|
|2014-15||Oklahoma City Barons||AHL||—||—||—||—||—||—||4||4||4||4|
Source: Jason Gregor, Verified Twitter Account, 9/17/2018 – 11:25 am MST