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Nurse signs two-year contract with Oilers

Restricted free agent defenseman had career-high 26 points last season @NHLdotcom

Darnell Nurse signed a two-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

Financial terms were not released. The 23-year-old defenseman was a restricted free agent.

"It's good to have it done and it'll be nice to get out there with the guys tomorrow," Nurse said. "It's exciting.

"I had a feeling it was going to get done. I wasn't worried, but I think some of the other guys were a little worried. They were bugging me about not coming back out of shape or anything like that."

Nurse, who had been skating in Toronto to stay in shape, said he plans to be in Edmonton to workout Tuesday. The Oilers play their first preseason game at the Calgary Flames on Monday and play at the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday (10:30 p.m. ET; NHLN [joined in progress], SN, SN1). Their first home preseason game is against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

Nurse had NHL career highs in goals (six), assists (20) and points (26) in 82 games last season, and he was second on the Oilers with a plus-15 rating, the first time in his four NHL seasons he's had a positive plus/minus rating.

Selected by Edmonton with the No. 7 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, Nurse has 47 points (14 goals, 33 assists) in 197 NHL games and two assists in 13 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Nurse said he believes one key for the Oilers this season will be getting off to a better start than they did in 2017-18, when they began 3-7-1 and missed the playoffs.

"I think our start is going to be extremely important, so to be ready for the start of the season is going to be our job," he said. "I've heard camp has been going well so far. The guys are excited and I'm going to try to go out there and try to be a positive impact for our team every night." correspondent Derek Van Diest contributed to this report

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