The Edmonton Oilers and defenceman Darnell Nurse are working on a four-year contract extension, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freidman reported.
Nurse, 26, was selected by the Oilers in the first round of the 2013 draft and has grown into a very good defenceman for the team.
He posted a career-high 16 goals and 36 points in 56 games last year, his most productive offensive season in his seven-year career.
Nurse is coming off a two-year bridge deal that pays him an AAV of $5.6-million.
It’s safe to assume that his contract will be of significant value given the recent $9.5-million contract of Seth Jones and $9-million deal for Cale Makar. Nurse is no Makar, but he’s undoubtedly a great top four, maybe even a very good top-pairing defenceman. It’s safe to assume this deal would fall somewhere in the $7-$8-million range for an AAV.
A four-year deal would place Nurse at 31 years old also at a time where it’s believed the salary cap is expected to climb. On top of that, a deal of that length would leave Nurse a UFA in 2025-26, a year after Leon Draisaitl hits free agency and the same time Connor McDavid’s eight-year deal would come to an end.
It also would mark the end of the current CBA when the cap is expected to take it’s first meaningful jump in years.
The Oilers are clearly entering a “win-now” mode as the championship window rests in the next four to five years and a deal in that range for Darnell Nurse would further solidify that being the case.
It’s going to be interesting to see what the deal comes out to be, and very interesting to see what the Oilers have up their sleeves in terms of bettering its team heading into next season.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]