Darnell Nurse Scouting Report: 2013 NHL Draft Prospect Profile – Soo Greyhounds

Photo credit: Terry Wilson / OHL Images

Photo credit: Terry Wilson / OHL Images

By Todd Cordell (@ToddCordell)

The 2013 NHL Entry Draft is less than two months away. As we inch closer and closer to this year’s draft, I’ll continue to plug away and post as many scouting reports on the top draft eligible players from the Ontario Hockey League as I can.

Without further ado, here is my scouting report on 2013 draft eligible defenseman Darnell Nurse of the Soo Greyhounds.

Darnell Nurse
Age – 18
Position – Defenseman
Height – 6′ 5″
Weight – 193
Draft Projection: 8-12th overall
OHL Team: Soo Greyhounds
2013 Regular Season Stats: 12 goals, 29 assists, 41 points, +15, 116PIM, 68 games played
2013 Playoff Stats: one goal, three assists, four points, 6PIM, six games played
NHL Comparable(s) – Tyler Myers
Upside – 8/10

Strengths – Darnell Nurse is an excellent defensive defenseman, and is arguably the best defenseman in this year’s class when it comes to taking care of his own zone. He’s a very strong skater despite his tall, lanky body. Nurse isn’t shy about using his size and is very good at shutting opponents down, whether it be by using his body or his lanky arms and stick to poke the puck off the opposing player. Nurse is a very hard worker and doesn’t back down from anyone. He uses his big frame as you would expect someone his size would and he’s not afraid to drop the mitts, either. He’s incredibly smart, positionally sound and really understands the game. One of the best aspects of Nurse’s game is that he doesn’t force things and allows the game to come to him. He almost always goes for the high percentage plays, which is somewhat rare for a young defenseman who has as much talent as he does. While Nurse isn’t known for his offensive game, he can produce if given the opportunities and should be able to help generate some offense at the next level. Nurse owns strong leadership abilities as well which he should be credited for.

Weaknesses – Nurse can produce offensively in the OHL but I’m not sure how much will translate to the NHL when he gets there. His shot is pretty mediocre considering his size and he doesn’t have that ‘wow’ factor to his offensive game. I’d like to see him fill his frame out more, too, but that should happen over time.

Career Projection – Nurse has the potential to be a top notch shutdown defenseman who can dominate given his size, physicality and skating ability. Despite his mediocre offensive abilities and lack of a booming shot most defenseman his size have, I think he could become a top-pairing defenseman if he is developed properly.

2013 Draft Eligible Prospect Profiles:

Sean Monahan – Ottawa 67′s

Ryan Hartman – Plymouth Whalers

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